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Poetry^^ R A /?" 


Thus to Revisit (iv) 


Chinese Magic 

Letters : Posted and Unposted 

The Socialist 

The Poet's Allegory 

The Recognition of Mr. H. A. Barker 

Decadence in Singing 

After Two Years of Peace 

Credit or Bankruptcy 

The Night 

The Decline of Literary Criticism 

Charwomen, not " Balbrigands " 

When Ghosts Fail 


W. H. Stephens 

John Helston 

Harold Blind 

Muriel Stuart 

Joan Bevan 

Vladimir Nabokoff 

Mary Webb 

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Ford Madox Hueffer 

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Algernon Blackwood 

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Edited by Austin Harrison 








To the Unknown 


A Dream 

Mrs. Effingham's Swan 

While Waiting in 

Your Room 


When The Thorn 



9. FORD MADOX HUEFFER Thus to Revisit... (iv) 








[Contents continued on page x. 






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CONTENTS (continued) 




Chinese Magic 





Letters : Posted and 

Unposted (iii) 
The Socialist 




The Poet's Allegory 




The Recognition of 
Mr. H. A. Barker 




Decadence in Singing 




After Two Years of 




Credit or Bankruptcy 




The Night 




The Decline of 

Literary Criticism 
Charwomen, not 

" Balbrigands " 

When Ghosts Fail 







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S 374- 

The English Review Advertiser 

New Method of Learning French 

Latest Achievement 
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Instruction is one of the most remarkable 
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It sounds almost incredible, but it is 
perfectly true. 

No Vocabularies or Translation. 

By following this method you can learn 
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those students who have had no previous 
acquaintance with the language, is rapid, 
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The English Review Advertiser 

X Civil Military &. Naval Jailors 





7~y-y ?0>- 

By II. Dennis Bradley 

SUDDENLY, a week or so back, 
without warning, without oppor- 
tunity for deliberation, without escape 
for thoughtful preparation, I was faci d 
with a fundamental, political, psycho- 
logical, emotional, humanitarian, 
Christian, international, financial and 
economic problem. 

A German walked into my office in 
Bond Street. What was a patriotic 
Britisher to do? Should I throw my 
beautiful but weighty bronze Cupid at 
his head? Should I telephone the 
"Daily Mail"? Should I acquaint 
the Welsh Wizard, or should I seek 
the assistance of Scotland Yard? 

I had to think quickly. It was 
seven years since we had met. He 
was then as anti-militarist as I am 
now. And he, no more than tens of 
millions of other Germans, was 
certainly not responsible for the rulers 
of Germany plunging Europe into war. 
Now, I am not pro-German, or, as 
a rule, pro-anything, except pro-self, but 
I solved the problem by asking him 
to have a whisky and soda. Deplor- 
able anti-Pussyfootism ! 

He had fought throughout the war 
and was one of the fighting few lucky 
enough to escape death or maiming. 
There was no bravery or virtue in 
this. He was compelled, like al 
Other young men in all the belligerent 
countries, to fight or be shot at dawn. 
He loathed the disgusting bestiality as 
all — who did not organise it — loathed it. 
He told me he had ordered from my firm one suit of clothes. 

A few days later he looked in to say " good-bye." He said, " That suit of clothes 
will have to last me at least five years. It has cost me over ^200." 

I was amazed to find myself the chief of a gang of brigands, until he explained that 
he had been charged about £16, which, on the rate of exchange in German marks, had 
cost him the equivalent of £200 

Here is a big economic problem. Unless one is decadent or sentimental one must 
face facts. It is two years since the Armistice was signed. Is it to be peace or war? 
Is Britain to trade freely and internationally and recover, or remain revengefully 
and stupidly insular and go under? Shall we be Roman or renascent? Shall we 
skin-alive or resuscitate? I merely put the question since I am a philosophical 

But the whole financial system of Europe is really one unit, and it is now in utter 
chaos. Britain must trade with her late enemies, the Central Powers, and she must 
trade with her late ally, Russia. If national bankruptcy is to be avoided it must not be 
next year but at once. And from all the signs, America is likely to be a stern 



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wts /cmr/p <%im 

To meet the many requests, reproductions of some of this 
series of pictures, including " The Interrupted Jazz," 
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in colour, 17" by 12" at Is. each. 



November, 1920. 

To the Unknown Flower 

By W. H. Stephens 

One day I found you growing in the hedge 

Uncouth, with wayward sprawlings left and right, 
The stems upclimbing through a branchy hedge 
Then thrusting through to meet the air and light; 
I knew you were 
A stranger, stranded there ! 

Some dagger leaves were rayed about the stem, 

So dry and dusty that you looked forlorn, 
But you had curled, and made a diadem 

Of emerald sprays a Queen might well have worn, 
Young leaves benight 
With filtered emerald light ! 

And thus I loved the beauty of your sprays 

That trailed in glory, gently quivering; 
And often came to watch your gipsy ways, 

And thrilled one day to see a wondrous thing, — 
A Star, between 
The rifts of cloudy green ! 

A little spike of tiny flowers was there, 

Each flower a perfect star of silver mist; 
And from each misty petal, passing fair 
Arose a dainty Stamen 10 be kissed 
By zephyr lips 
On blushing powdered tips ! 

385 o 


Maybe the golden glamour of the kiss 

Would fall upon a Carpel's yearning heart, 
And in the sweet fruition of its bliss 
Create the seed of Nature's secret art, 
With life sublime 
To phase in quickening time. 

So much, O wayward plant, of Life's Romance 

Lies here in prickly leaves and dusty stems 
With patience longing for an utterance, 
Until it bursts in coruscating gems 
Of Nature's glee 
And primal mystery. 


By John Helston 

A brightness stirs by the water's edge, 
As beautiful as the feet of Spring 
By the willowed pool with its banks of ling 
When west winds rule at its whispering. 

A darkness whirs from a cove of sedge. 

Ere one can cry : " What iL3ans the thing ! " 

A crow and a sea-gull strive in flight 

As they wheel together to left and right. 

But if your soul, from dark or shine, 

Turn but to grey, 

A ghost that's in your spine 

Shall take away 

Your sins and Springs, — 

Ay, cut your wings 

For good and evil in that day ! 


A Dream 

By Harold Blind 


This rain-chilled morning, ere I woke. 

It seemed 
Your sweet lithe nakedness against my heart was pressed ; 
And the slow restless fever in my blood had broke. 
.We drowsed, united; and the Gods had blessed 
The spiritual marriage that the mysterious fusion 
Of our flesh expressed. 

It seemed 
So real, the exquisitely warm and fragrant touch 
Of you; and I could feel your soft, swift kiss 
Cling to my mouth — your hands hold mine. 

I dreamed. 
Would it not mean much 
If we could live for ever, linked . . . like this? 

If this were " life eternal " — as it well might be 

For those who love each other, living pure in heart, and 

Then I, for one, would never fear the gulf Eternity 
To which men go through Death's star-curtained gate. 

87 02. 

Mrs. Effingham's Swan Song 

By Muriel Stuart 

I am growing old : I have kept youth too long, 

But I dare not let them know it now. 

I have done the heart of youth a grievous wrong, 

Danced it to dust and drugged it with the rose, 

Forced its reluctant lips to one more vow. 

I have denied the lawful grey, 

So kind, so wise, to settle in my hair; 

I am friends no more with April, but September has not 

taught me her repose .; 
I wish I had let myself grow old in the quiet way 
That is so gracious ... I wish I did not care . . . 

My faded mouth will never flower again, 
Under the paint the wrinkles fret my eyes, 
My hair is dull beneath its henna stain, 
I have come to the last ramparts of disguise. 
And now the day draws on of my defeat. 
I shall not meet 

The swift, male glance across the crowded room, 
Where the chance contact of limbs in passing tus 
Its answer in some future fierce embrace. 
I shall sit there in the corners looking on 
With the older women, withered or overblown, 
Who have grown old more graciously than I, 
In a sort of safe and comfortable tomb 
Knitting myself into Eternity. 
And men will talk to me because they are kind, 
Or as cunning or as courtesy demands ; 
There will be no hidden question in their eyes 
And no subtle implication in their hands, 
And I shall be so grateful who have been 
So gracious and so tyrannous, moving between 
Denial and surrender. To-morrow I shall find 
How women live who have no lovers and no answer for 
life's grey monotonies. 



Upon my table will be no more flowers . . . 

They will bring me no more flowers till I am dead ; 

There will be no violent, sweet, exciting hours, 

No wild things done nor said. 

— No master is more bitter to offend, 

No tyranny more dreadful to obey, 

Than Beauty's terrible bondage. Happy they 

Whom she brings not in anguish to the end 

Of her old, magnificent way. 

Yet sometimes I'm so tire4 of it all — 

This everlasting battle with the flesh, 

— This pitiful slavery to the body's thrall — 

And then I do not want to lure nor charm ; 

I want to wear 

Soft, easy things, be comfortable and warm ; 

I want to drowse at leisure in my chair. 

I do not want to wear a veil with heavy mesh, 

Nor sit in shaded rooms afraid to face the light; 

I do not want to go out every night, 

And be bright and vivid and intense, 

Nor be on the alert and the defence 

With other women, fierce and afraid as I, 

Drawing a knife unseen as each goes by. 

I am so tired of men and making love, 

For every one's the same. 

There's nothing new in love beneath the sun . . . 

All love can say or do has long been said and done : 

I have eaten the fruit of knowledge long enough, 

Been over-kissed, and over-praised and over-won. 

Why should I try to play still the old, foolish game? 

Because I have played the rose's part too long. 

Who plays the rose must pay the rose's price, 

And be a rose or nothing till it dies. 

And even then sometimes the blood will answer fierce and 

To the old hunger, — to the old dance, old tune; 
I shall feel cruel and passionate and mad 
Though I have lost the look of June. 
The fever of the past will burn my hands 



As men who live long in intemperate lands 
Feel the old ague wring them, far removed 
From the lost, cruel glitter of seas and sands . . . 
The rose dies hard in women who have had 
Lovers all their lives, and have been much loved. 

I am afraid to grow old now even if I would. 

I have fought too long, too well, and what was once 

A foolish trick to make the rose more strangely gay 

Is now a close-locked, mortal conflict of brain and blood — 

A feud too old to settle or renounce. 

I shall grow too tired to struggle, and the fight will end, 

And they will enter in at last — 

Nature and Time, long thwarted of their prey, — 

Those old grey two, more cruel for the lips that said them 

For the bitterest foe is he who in the past 
Has been repulsed when he would fain be friend. 

I am sorry for women who are growing old, 

I do not blame them holding youth with shameful hold, 

Nor doing desperate things to lips and eyes. 

They have so pitifully short a flowering time, 

So suddenly sweet a story so soon told. 

They only strive to keep what men have taught them most 

to prize — 
Men who have longer, fuller lives to live, 
Who are not stopped and broken in their prime, 
With their faces still to summer. Men d^ not know 
What Age says to a woman. They would not wait 
To feel sljp from their hands without a throe, 
Without a struggle, futile and desperate, 
Doomed, without hope or rumour of reprieve, 
All that has given them wealth and love and power. 
They would not smile into the eyes of that advancing hour, 
(Who had bent all summer to their bow, and had flung 
The widest rose and kissed the keenest mouth 
And slept in the lordliest bed when they were young,) 
That bitter twilight which sun-following Youth 
Flies headlong while Age loiters on the hill, 
Uneager to fold such greyness to his breast, 



Knowing that none will thwart him of his will, 
None be before him on that quest. 

I am growing old. 

I was not always kind when I was young 

To women who were old, for Youth is blind — 

A small, green, bitter thing beneath its fragrant rind, 

And fanged against the old with boisterous tongue — 

Those whose poor, morning heads are touched with rime, 

Walking before their misery like kings, 

In exile from their green and growing time. 

I did not think that I should feel such stings, 

Nor flinch beneath such arrows . . . But now I know. 

One day I shall be stupid and rather slow, 

And easily cowed and troubled in my mind, 

And tremulous, vaguely frightened, feeble and cold. 

I am growing old . . . My God, how old ! how old ! . 

I dare not tell them, but one day they will know . . . 

I hope they will be kind. 

While Waiting in Your Room 

By Joan Bevan 

Each time you enter, goes my heart to meet you, 
Though I stand still and look quite commonplace. 

And silent, long with fevered words to greet you 
While secretly I search your shadowed face . . . 

To see if there's a gleam of more than kindness 

Or if indifference only wins the race ; 
Or cruelty, another form of blindness, 

Hides all the mocking beauty of your face. 

When will there be an answer to my pleading? 

Will your eyes mate with mine a breathing space 
And drowned in deepest depths will they be reading 
Their utter satisfaction on your face ? 



By Vladimir Nabokoff 

Like silent ships we two in darkness met, 
And when some day the poet's careless fame 
Shall breathe to you a half-forgotten name — 

Soul of my song, I want you to regret. 

For you had Love. Out of my life you tore 
One shining page. I want, if we must part, 
Remembrance pale to quiver in your heart 

Like moonlit foam upon a windy shore. 

When the Thorn Blows 

By Mary Webb 

Dawn glimmers white beyond the burning hill 
Where sunbeams light a fire in every tree. 

The morning bird is singing clear and shrill ; 
And oh, my love ! when will you come to me ? 

The daisies whitely sleep beneath the dew ; 

On the wet road the stones are fair to see ; 
Cloudy, the blackthorn floats upon the blue; 

And oh, my love ! when will you come to me ? 

The wind came walking in the shaken wood ; 

He shouted from the mountains and the sea. 
By the pale thorn he paused, in lover's mood — 

And oh, my love ! when will you come to me ? 

My heart has blossomed meekly as the thorn ; 

It has its dews, and daisies two or three. 
The heavens quicken, green as April corn — 

And oh, my love ! when will you come to me ? 



(To the Lord God) 
By F. Hamilton 

Behind me is the garden and your face. 

Shame might have hid me. I could bid disgrace 

Banish my soul unto jome distant place, 

Be witch thereof, and in its shades construe 

Some liane, epiphyte, that might rid you, 

Sow seed, with each heart-patter, drop and drop, 

Careless but they fell slow to — insure the crop. 

That is my dream, indulgence, one perfume, 

To dig the trench about your feet. One bloom — 

To see you rid — I cherish for my tomb. 

How should you tell, when my hand grasps your hands, 

And bends your knees as boughs with the winds bands, 

I wist but of some flower within your hair 

One day to be. These sweating hands nowhere. 

Let be. A gardener thou needest not. 

Then why keep me? One thing, thy love cannot, 

Is left for me to do. You had forgot. 

'Twere sweet to do, intoxicating sweet, 

If drinking should rid you, drain from yorr feet 

All poison. God, what? Damn me. What if sap — 

One drop — should, thereby, trickle from your lap ? 

Rather than that, there keep me, hold me there, 
Burning my back with kisses. Truth it were, 
That, horrible, yet not as thine impair. 
Do what is best for thee. — Ha ! ha ! You see, 
You cannot damn me. Seeing that must be 
I cannot be cast down. Neither can I, 
For the elation of thy living, die. 

393 o* 


So, you would make of me, a monument, 
Never to be wiped out, and never rent, 
And all this, just because I do repent. — 
If I did not, you might grow free — (Ah ! say 
Were't thou not much more fair a thing, that way ?) 
I reap. — That forfeited? — Then lest I might, 
Rivet the chain that keeps me in thy sight. 

But, of that tree of knowledge — Know this, God. 
What fruit of knowledge were there but the pod 
Concealed a way of treading where God trod? 
So did I think, so pondered, and so said, 
When the yet unproved thing had not yet bled. 
So said. So say. There, damn me, God, again. 
I tasted, I know, wisdom, in its chain. 

I know the good and evil ? As I live, 

I'd yield no little anguish, through a sieve, 

To lose this " what is what," " what for," you give. — 

I willed to know, lay hands on all that stood 

Between us, I might see, for bad or good, 

What would remain, of all things, still unshaken, 

What thing would fall, and what thing might be taken. 

And I know now what did befall. But thee, 
Now I shall never know, shall never see. — 
What ! Wished I thee presented unto me ? 
Nay, I'd not aught of thee, taken at gift. 
But be thou whole. Damn me. I'd even lift 
This hand unto the tree of life, to throw 
One grain of spice, to make thy savour grow. 


Thus to Revisit* . . . (iv 

Some Reminiscences 
By Ford Madox Hueffer 

Part II 

The Battle of the Poets. 

I.— ("Golly/ What a Paper!") 

I ask to be taken as writing the pages that follow with 
some diffidence. When it is a matter of prose I know what 
I want ; I know what I want to say ; and I know that I can 
say what I want to say with some exactness. Prose is for 
me an instrument — like a tool of precision. But the 
moment I come to want to write about verse I feel — pos- 
sibly doubts, possibly misgivings; certainly some of the 
diffidence of the novice. For I suppose that until lately I 
had not devoted to the problem of verse any of the close and 
sedulous thought that gives a man a real right to demand 
to be listened to. I began to think about verse desultorily 
about 1912; it was not until 1915 or 1916, during the en- 
forced waitings of a life sometimes of rather frenzied action, 
that I devoted really the whole of my aesthetic mind to the 
practical side of verse-writing. I made, that is to say, a 
great number of metrical experiments of my own and 
thought constantly of the metrical devices that had been 
adopted by the writers of works that had given me that 
high, fine pleasure that poems alone can give. And, since 
that troubled time, I have continued in the same habits. 

I should like to make a confession of faith : I believe the 
conception — and if possible the writing — of poetry to be the 
only pursuit worthy of a serious man, unless the vicissi- 
tudes of his time call on him to be also a soldier. I have 
always held this belief ; I have never changed in it ; I trust 

* Copyright in U.S.A. by the Dial Co., 13th St., New York. 

395 0*2 


that I never shall. I do not mean to say that there are no 
other pursuits, professions, callings or avocations that 
Destiny may not force upon a proper man and he endure 
them with dignity, honour and an unbent head . . . But 
even then, if he does not follow them in the spirit of a poet 
— and with the self-sacrifice of a soldier — he is not a proper 
man and I hope I may never have to know him. 

But, until the earlier date that I have given above, 
although I never faltered in this belief, the only writings, 
at any rate of my own day, that I could call poetry had been 
in the form of prose, not of verse. When — so very occa- 
sionally ! — in some of the writings of the Poet Laureate, of 
Mr. Walter Delamare, of Christina Rossetti, of Robert 
Browning, I came across passages that stirred me with an 
unmistakable call, it was the prose quality of those pas- 
sages, not the metrical values, to which I attached im- 
portance. It was the beauty of the wording; it was the 
beauty of the image evoked by the contact of simple words 
one beside the other. 

Of that earlier time I remember images called up by 
two living poets. The one rendered distant ships, like 
silver-points on a grey horizon: that was Mr. Delamare; 
the other made visible the depths of still fresh water, beside 
the piles of a boating stage — on the Thames, I should say. 
That was in a poem by Mr. Robert Bridges. I do not 
mean to say that I cannot remember other passages of these 
two poets; I can. I believe I could recite several poems 
by each of them, with possibly a verbal error here and there. 

And just, as far as I am concerned, as it is with these 
two living poetsyso it is with the two dead ones. Christina 
Rossetti was an infinitely great master of words, but the 
emotions her work always gave me were those of reading 
prose — and so it was with Browning ... I have seldom 
received a greater stirring of enthusiasm than on the day 
when — quite late in life — I first came upon the words, at 
the end of the first paragraph of the " Flight of the 
Duchess . . ." : 

And all this is our Duke's Country ! 

And that is certainly a prose effect and a prose rhythm. 
But isn't it glorious? ... So that, only the other day, I 
surprised myself by saying to Mr. Pound, the words coming 
out from some subconscious depths where I did not know 



that the opinion lay : " After all — the only English poet 
that matters twopence is Browning ! " I don't know what 
Mr. Pound answered; I verv seldom do know what Mr." 
Pound answers; but he neither knocked me down nor 
screamed, so that I daresay he was substantially in agree- 
ment with myself . . . 

I will try to make clear how this progression of effect has 
taken place in my thoughts. I was unconscious that it had 
taken place, as I have said ; but the idea having, as it were, 
reported itself for duty, I can trace its genesis. I trust I 
may be allowed to repeat myself — I mean to repeat ideas 
that I have already put into print. I never came across any 
trace that any human soul had ever read any of my former 
critical writings; by certain reverberations I can now tell 
"that I have some readers, so I will again make the state- 
ment that for a great number of years I could not read 
"poetry." I wanted to; but I could not. I used to put 
that down to the fact that rhymes, accents, stresses, asson- 
ances, alliterations, vowel colourings, and the other devices 
of poets, embarrassed me as a reader. But this was not the 
case . . . The real fact is that — the dog it was that died. 

I have discovered this for myself from my own practice 
in verse. I found that as soon as I came to write a poem " 
I automatically reduced my intelligence to the level of one 
nearly imbecile. And, looking one day through the Col- 
lected Edition of my own poems that some misguided pub- 
lisher issued some years aeo and that no soul appeared to 
purchase or read — looking them through again, then, I was 
appalled to observe that in the whole affair there were not 
twenty lines that, had I been writing prose, I should not 
have suppressed . . . Everything; every single group of 
words was what in French is called charge ... It was not 
so much that the stuff was rhetorical; it had not the mar- 
moreal quality of true rhetoric — the kind that one finds 
on tombstones, It was just silly— with the silliness of a 
child of a bad type. 

Heaven knows I cannot read my own prose with any- 
thing but mortification — but it is a mortification proceeding 
rather from the eternal sense of failure that every conscious 
artist must feel all his life unless he has a good bottle of 
wine beneath his waistcoat . . . One has had ideals and has 
fallen short. That is gloomy enough. But when I read 



mv own verse I know that I have tried to write like a 
brandined sentimentalist. And I have succeeded every 
time . . . 

N w, why is this ? I can assure the reader that alco- 
holism has very little to do with it. And I think I can 
the answer. It is simply that every poet — until lately 

: v poet — the moment he takes pen in hand in order to 
write, say, a sonnet or a triolet or decasyllabics, rhymed or 
unrhymed, at once begins to " write down." This was the 

e originally, simply because rhyme and metre were diffi- 
cult things and an indulgent, primitive Public made allow- 
ances. Nowadays the writing down has become a habit, a 
fashion, a necessity — and a less primitive, less indulgent 
public can no longer be got to listen to Verse at all. At 
any rate, there is hardly a poet of to-day or yesterday 
who ever, in his matter, his ideas and his verbal texture, 
attempts to soar above the level of the intellect of scarcely 
adolescent pupils in young ladies' seminaries — hardly ever 
a poet who. in his attempts to render a higher type 

of mentality than that to be found in a Grimm's F airy Tale 
... Or it might be more just to say Hans Andersen; for. 
as far as I can remember. Andersen was more of a snob 
than Grimrr. 

Poets in fact, once they put on their laurel crowns. 

st thenv jf every* shred of humour, irony, or in- 

nowledge of life as it is lived. I can hardly think 

of anv save Heinrich Heine. Browning — and sometimes 

stina R — who were born since 1790 and did not 

consider vcia e- wi tting as something aloof from life. art. 

form and language. I will put the matter as a parable : 

the facts that follow are not exactlv what happened. One 

must slightl] bscure fa * : when one is writing of one's 

contemporaries. But the truth of this parable to the Spirit 

of the Age is irrefutable. 

There are in the City of London, then, two 
eminent Ut1erattu r s . . . Let us call them Mess 
X and Y. Both are men of brains, humour, and 
of a sufficient adroitness to have made for the:- ~ 
comfortable careers — this last being- no ~nd one 

which must have made them acquainted with a considerable 
surface of such life as is lived in what Henry James used 
to call the has fonds of journalism ... A pretty mean 
life . . But, in an evil hour, each of these eentlemen con- 


ceived the idea of writing Verse on a large scale. One — 
Mr. X. — produced a play in rhyme — a play of singular 
imbecility. Mr. Y. replied with a slice of an epic based 
on ideas that must have been Joe Millerisms to Macaulay's 
— or w r as it Mrs. Barbauld's? — New Zealander. 

Each was a Reviewer ! Mr. Y. reviewed his colleague's 
verse drama, writing a sort of paraphrase of Sheridan's 
Critic — the Spanish Fleet Mr. X.'s heroine could not have 
seen because it was not yet in sight, and so on. Mr. X. 
reviewed the instalment of the epic, in the style of 
Macaulay's review of Satan Montgomery. He pointed out 
that it is contrary to natural principles to write 

Thus to its goal the aspiring soul doth mount 
As streams meander level with their fount, 

or words to that effect. We were, in fact, presented with 
the inspiring spectacle of a controversy in the good old 
style of The Edinburgh versus The Quarterly Reviews. 
That, of course, is nothing. Someone in England is always 
trying to drag literature tack to those days and that tone. 
The point was that Mr. X. concluded his review by saying 
that, though he had. regretfully, pointed out some of the 
innumerable absurdities contained in Mr. Y.'s epic, never- 
theless Mr. Y. was to be congratulated on revealing his real 
personality in his work — an exhibition of courage rare in the 
poets of to-day; Mr. Y.. at the end of his review, stated that 
though he had regretfully pointed out some of the innu- 
merable imbecilities contained in his confrere's poetic 
drama, Mr. X. was to be congratulated on his rare courage 
in revealing his true personality in his poem . . . And, 
since each gentleman had called the other's work a product 
of an imbecile mind, that was hitting below the belt ! 

As I read the portents of our moonlit heavens, these 
two — quite imaginary — gentlemen will be united on one 
point — they desire to drive out of Literature Mr. Pound. 
Mr. Flint, and most of mv favourite poets. And I beg the 
reader to believe that nothing would have dragged me back 
into the Literarv Life from which I had taken a quite sincere 
farewell but the desire to prevent this infamy and this 
disaster. I should like to be taken as being entirely sin- 
cere in making this statement, and I should like to say that 
I have written the last three words, advisedly, after due 
thought and selecting exactly the words that express mv 
meaning . . . 



I concluded the first part of this series of articles by 
lightly, and, I trust, good-humouredly, grazing the subject 
of Les Jeunes, who were quite young in the Season of 19 14. 
I fancy the frame of mind of myself and the others who 
welcomed these then eccentric creatures was one of gentle 
bewilderment as to their products combined with 
an absolute confidence in the genius of the various 
young men whom we backed. I may point out that 
I come of a family that, for generations, has impoverished 
itself in combating Academicism and in trying to help — 
geniuses ... So I may claim to have in the blood the 
tic of combating Academicism and the hope of discovering 
genius — and, I trust, the faculty of absolute indifference 
to my personal fate or the fate of my own work. 

Thus I profess to a certain inherited flair for — and a 
certain sense that it is a duty to forward — the recognition 
of young men with, to change the idiom, individualities, 
practising one or other of the arts. And towards the end 
of Marwood's and my career in control of the English 
Review, he and I and the few friends who were interested 
in a real revival of Literature began to feel that life was 
worth living . . . There appeared on the scene — I place 
them in the order of their appearance, as far as I can re- 
member — Mr. Pound, Mr. D. H. Lawrence, Mr. Tomlin- 
son, Mr. Norman Douglas, Mr. Lewis, " H.D.," Mr. Flint 
— and afterwards some Americans — Mr. Frost, Mr. T. S. 
Eliot, Mr. Edgar Lee Masters. And of course there were 
Gaudier Brzeska and Mr. Epstein. It was — truly — like 
an opening world . . . 

It was like an opening world . . . For, if you have 
worried your poor dear old brain for at least a quarter of a 
century over the hopelessness of finding, in Anglo-Saxon- 
dom, any traces of the operation of a conscious art — it was 
amazing to find these young creatures not only evolving 
theories of writing and the plastic arts, but receiving in 
addition an immense amount of what is called " public sup- 
port " ... I do not think I am exaggerating when I say 
that, at any rate for the London Season of 19 14, these 
young fellows not only drove the old — oh, the horribly 
wearisome ! — Academics out of the field, the market, and 



the forum; they created for themselves also a " public" that 
had never looked at a book otherwise than to be bored 
with it ; or considered the idea that an Art was an interesting, 
inspiring, or amusing appearance. That was extra- 
ordinarily valuable. And I believe that their influence at 
that date extended across the Atlantic itself and that there 
it still obtains. 

We Anglo-Saxons are the mock of the world; there is 
no nation that does not despise us for our commercial ideals, 
our incredible foreign politics — and the complete absence 
of any art as a national characteristic . . . The Dutch 
have their painters; the Flemings have their down-to-the- 
ground poets of mysticism; the Germans have their 
Romantic music ; their Grimmish lyrics. The French have 
everything. The Siamese have their beautiful pots; the 
Russians — again, possibly everything. The Poles have 
immense rhetorical gifts; the Zulus their folk song; the 
Irish their Historic Sense, which is an art too. We have 
nothing, and there is no race in the world that does not 
point the finger of scorn at us. 

That is the lamentable fact. But in 19 14 Les Jeunes 
had succeeded in interesting a usually unmoved but very 
large section of the public — and had forced that public to 
take an interest not in the stuff but the methods of an Art. 
The Cubists, Vorticists, and the others proclaimed that the 
plastic arts must be non-representational; the Imagistes, 
Symbolistes, who joined up, I think, with Vorticism, pro- 
claimed the immense importance of the " live " word — the 
word that should strike you as the end of a live wire will, 
if you touch it. Actually, I fancy that the main point of 
their sympathy and contact was their desire to impress on 
the world their own images. Or, let us put it that the 
first point of their doctrine would be that the artist should 
express by his work his own personality. 

Let us consider this canon with some seriousness. 

The Impressionists — and it was the Impressionists that 
the Vorticists, Cubists, Imagistes, and the rest were seeking 
to wipe out — the Impressionists in the plastic or written arts 
had been the leaders of the Movement that came imme- 
diately before these young fellows. And the main canon 
of the doctrine of Impressionism had been this : The artist 
must aim at the absolute suppression of himself in his ren- 



dering of his Subject. You were to see as little as possible 
of the image of M. Courbet in a Courbet; you were to see 
nothing at all of Flaubert when you read " Trois Contes." 
To look at a painting of willow trees under a grey sky; to 
read Cceur Simple or Le Rouge et le Noir, What 
Maisie Knew or Fathers and Children^ was merely to 
live in the lives and the minds of Felicite, Mrs. Wicks, 
whose constant dread was that she might be " spoken to," or 
of Lavretsky . . . Above all the reader was to receive no 
idea of the figures of Stendhal or his followers . . . For 
Impressionism begins with Henri Beyle who wrote as 

Let me — since even the first commandment of Impres- 
sionism is probably unfamiliar to the Anglo-Saxon reader 
— repeat this formula in another image. That is bad Art ; 
but I hope to be pardoned by the shades of my Masters. Is 
the Reader, then, conversant with the Theory of Podmore's 
Brother? . . . Podmore's Brother was accustomed to 
perform certain tricks on members of the public whilst so 
holding their attentions that they were quite unconscious 
of his actions. He talked so brilliantly that whilst his 
tongue moved his hands attracted no attention. It is not 
a very difficult trick to perform ... If the Reader will give 
a box of matches to a friend and then begin to talk really 
enthrallingly, he will be able to take the box of 
matches from his friend's hands without his friend 
being in the least conscious that the matches have 
gone. Closing his discourse, he will be able to say 
to his friend : " Where are the matches ? " — and the 
friend will not have any idea of their whereabouts ... It 
is a trick worth performing — the tongue deceiving the 
eye ... 

It is a trick worth performing — because it is the Trick 
of Impressionism — the Impressionist writer or painter tell- 
ing his story with such impressiveness that the Reader or 
the Observer will forget that the Impressionist is using pen 
or brush; just as your supposititious Friend, lost in 
your conversation, forgets that you take the matches from 
his hands . . . 

The Cubists, Vorticists, Imagistes, Vers Libristes, who 
in 1914 seemed about to wash out us Impressionists, said 
simply: "All this attempt to hypnotise the Public is mere 

402 1 


waste of time. An Artist attracts ; gets a Public or royalties 
from sales because he is a clever fellow. Let him begin by 
saying : ' I am a clever fellow . . . ' And let him go on 
saying: 'What a fellow I am ! ' Conspuez the Subject! 
A bas all conventions of tale-telling ! We, the Vorticists, 
Cubists, Imagistes, Symbolists, Vers Libristes, Tapagistes 
are the fine, young Cocks of the Walk ! We and we only 
are the Playboys of the Western World. We and we only 
shall be heard "... They came very near it. 

I remember well a walk I took once with one of my 
young geniuses on one side of me and Mr. Pound on the 
other ... Of what Mr. Pound talked, I have no idea. 
He was expressing himself, in low tones, in some Trans- 
atlantic dialect. This Genius, however, was plain to hear. 

" What is the sense," he said, " of all this ' justification ' 
of a subject that Maupassant and you and Conrad indulge 
in . . . You try to trick the reader into believing that he 
is hearing true stories . . , But you can't . . . Maupas- 
sant takes three hundred words out of a two-thousand- 
word conte to describe a dinner party with a doctor at it 
. . . And the doctor tells a story ... Or Conrad takes 
twenty thousand words out of an immense novel to describe 
a public-house on the river at Greenwich ... In order 
to ' justifier' his story ... It is a waste of time . . . 
What the public wants is Me . . . Because I am not an 
imbecile, like the component members of the public ! . . ." 

I daresay he was right ... At any rate our Public 
took Mr. Lewis and " Blast " ; Signor Marinetti and his 
immense noises, his lungs of brass; Mr. Epstein and his 
Rock Drill, with great seriousness and unparalleled avidity 
. . . And I was so much a member of the Public that I 
determined — very willingly, for I always detested writing 
— to shut up shop. I said to myself : " I will write one 
more book ! " — a book I had been hatching for twelve 
years. "And then no more at all!" . . . So the Vorti- 
cists and the others proceeded on their clamorous ways 
. . . They abolished not only the Illusion of the Subject, 
but the Subject itself . . . They gave you dashes and 
whirls of pure colour; words washed down till they were 
just Mr. Pound's 

Petals on a wet black bough ! 

Signor Marinetti shouted incredibly in the Dore Gal- 



lery, and a sanguinary war was declared at the Cafe Royal 
between those youths who wore trousers of green billiard 
cloth and whiskers and those who did not . . . The Cabaret 
Club was raided by the Police, and found to be full of the 
wives and aged mothers of Cabinet Ministers . . . The 
Academic writers of the Literary Journal, with their in- 
credibly dull snufflings about the placket-holes of Shelley's 
mistresses, paled till they had the aspect of the posters of 
yesterday on the walls of the year before last ... 

Alas! that was in 1914 . . . To-day they are all back 
again in the saddle and the gobbling noises about the 
tuberculous lungs of Keats, — a beautiful user of words 
who, had Destiny not been as remorseless to his poor shade 
as in life she was to his racked body, would have escaped 
the attention of these stamp collectors — the gobbling noises 
about the lungs of Keats, the immense, long articles about 
the orthography of Shakespeare's Fourth Folios, the 
voluminous disquisitions on the poetasters from whom Scott 
derived his chapter headings — all these incredibly unin- 
teresting matters have once more killed the interest of the 
Public in the Arts . . . For what, to the Public, is Fanny 
Brawne ? 

I will put the matter in another parable, the facts being 
this time true . . . 

The wife of my headmaster once said to me — I was 
revisiting my school, and she was looking at a Literary 
Journal that I had brought down — once said, looking 
musingly over the top of the paper : 

" ' Love letters of John Keats to Fanny Brawne, edited 
by Buxton Forman.' " She was reading the title of a 
review. And she went on to ask : " Who was Keats ? "- 

I said : 

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever . . . 

And immediately she continued : 

Its loveliness increasethfit shall'never 
Pass into nothingness . . f 

It was not, that is to say, that the lady was closed to or 
ignorant of the beauty of Keats — it was simply that the 
Literary Journal was so intolerably wearisome that she 
knew nothing of the sort of ana that . . . But perhaps I am 
saying too much. 

(To be continued?) 


By Robert Briffault 

Most of us can look back upon another world — that 
remote world which in the pigeon-holes of history is 
labelled Victorian. It was the air of that world which all 
but the youngest of us first drew into our spiritual lungs, 
it was by its light, or at least by the afterglow of it, that we 
first contemplated the wonders and the mysteries And 
what fresh enthusiasms, what thrills of revelation fired our 
souls ! What a new era was the day when we first dis- 
covered Darwin ! What new vision was opened to us by 
Sartor, by Ruskin ! We were heavy with new thought as 
we rose from reading Spencer; Tyndall's Belfast address 
was an epoch in spiritual history, and we constructed views 
of " the relation between Mind and Matter. 5 ' Our 
interest was aroused by the controversy between 
Huxley and Gladstone concerning the Gadarene swine. 
We learnt Locksley Hall and In Memoriam by 
heart, till the syncopated tempo of Browning's toc- 
catas hushed the Tennysonian music to faintness. 
Liberalism, Democracy were ideals to conjure with; 
and the most wicked of us went the length — horribile 
dictu — of pasturing on the Fabian Essays. The discovery 
in art of Tintoretto and of the Primitives made us irate with 
our schoolmasters who had informed us that Raffael was a 
great painter. We thought no little of our privilege of 
exploring expanding horizons. We were the young ones 
marching to brave music with the vanguard companies into 
new worlds unsuspected by our fathers . . . 

Heavens ! What a gulf, what an abyss, between ! Can 
it really be that that was our world, that back-parlour of a 
world from which we now blow the dust with archaeological 
curiosity? It is not different in form, colour and fashion 
merely from the world in which our thoughts move to-day ; 
it is another universe compounded of different substances, 
of different ultimate principles and categories, To realise, 



to enter into the spirit and point of view of that Victorian 
world, puts a strain on our imagination as it would to stop 
down our vision to the outlook of a pre-Copernican or a 
pre-Revolutionary world. 

In the material of our thought, in our knowledge, there 
has been since no second Darwinian revolution; the 
changes have been cumulative, though the cumulation 
amounts in some quarters to a revolution. What has hap- 
pened is in reality much more momentous : the effects of 
Victorian, of nineteenth-century, science have spread from 
" nature," from the peculiar domain of that science which 
was called " natural " — in opposition to I know not what 
" unnatural " science — and which was therefore essentially 
distinct, remote, aloof from the general thought of thinking 
men, human thought dealing with human interests and 
issues, — the effects and spirit of science have overflowed 
and spread to that sphere of the thinker's thought, to Man, 
to Man's world. The new sciences which have sprung up 
are sciences of human things, anthropology in all its many 
branches, folk-lore, economics, and that general scientific 
thought concerning human society, its mechanism and in- 
stitutions, which is afflicted with the barbaric name of 
" sociology." Science which arose as a world apart, 
separated from the general fields of human thought, and 
which in the flush of its triumph had in the nineteenth 
century set up its complete world-edifice without consulta- 
tion and with somewhat hasty victorious finality, has now 
penetrated, and been in turn penetrated by, the thought of 
the thinker on human issues. Both have been transformed. 
The world-edifice has grown mellower and maturer; but it 
is above all the general human thought, our thought, that 
has became transmuted. And not in its materials, in its 
knowledge alone; the standards, the values, the counters 
themselves of the mind, are those of another currency. 
Changes which in turn have completely metamorphosed the 
import of our experience, altering the meaning of its daily 
contribution. So that between us and that Victorian world 
in the atmosphere of which we were born there is no longer 
any common measure. We are men of another world. 

And it is that which gives the real sense of growth, of 
progress. Not your aeroplanes, and mechanical toys and 
devices ; but the sight of a new world, perceived through 



other organs of knowledge, spelling new meanings, and 
giving us a new sense of direction. That is progress. 
Anyone is, of course, at liberty to quiz us with the question, 
" How do you know that your new vision, though other than 
the old, is better? " A foolish question. It is not the fact 
that one phase of growth is " better " than the foregoing 
which constitutes it a progress; it is the fact that 
it . is a progress which constitutes it " better."- The 
values " better," " higher" are the expression, not the justi- 
fication, of the fact of growth; it is the evolution which 
creates the value, which creates all values, not the values 
which justify the evolution. The knowledge of superiority 
is the direct judgment of evolving Life pronounced within 
us as the inconceivability of going back, of reversing the 
direction of the Life-force. 

We do not despise the Victorians, or the Jacobeans, or, 
for that matter, the poor savages who accomplished greater 
things when they domesticated fire or went to sea in a tree- 
trunk than, probably, we thinkers shall ever accomplish. 
No feeling of contempt colours our retrospect; on the con- 
trary, it is with a very lively feeling of reverence and 
veneration that we look upon the past generations that have 
raised us to our point of vantage. But it is precisely 
because of our sense of the superiority of our outlook that 
we reverence the men who have made it possible to surpass 
theirs. It is our truth, not necessarily our strength, that 
has grown. Where they were clear and confident we may 
be vague and hesitating, we falter where they firmly trod ; 
but our faltering is for all that a step forward, beyond, and 
above their confidence. Our path in any case, the path 
of Life is irretraceable ; the worlds that we have left behind 
can never again come back to being. Between them and 
ours there is no common measure. We have passed for 
ever into other worlds. 

VT 7v flP *7f flP TT 

" We " ? Who are " we " ? Of whom am I speaking ? 
Of the men of to-day? But we are but an infinitesimal, 
almost negligible number among the men of to-day. We 
quietly talk archaeologically about those ancient inhabitants 
of Britain, the Victorians, and, as a matter of fact, there 
are a hundred thousand Victorians, young and old, living 



to-day for one man of the present day, for one of us. We 
recall ancient memories of Darwinian days, and only the 
other day a good, well-meaning Canon Barnes caused a 
flutter by heroically suggesting that evolution should be 
" admitted " ! Victorians ! Why, the world of to-day would 
be a " live wire " indeed were no men to be found in it more 
antique than the Victorians. It is with pre-Victorian, with 
pre-Jacobean, nay, with pre-Glacial men that it is over- 
whelmingly peopled. The vast, overpowering majority of 
human beings, of those even who are called the " cultured," 
who talk articulately, perorate, write, are pre-Darwinians, 
pre-Frazerians, pre-Nietzscheans, — pre-diluvians. We? 
We, the men of to-day, are one in two millions; we are a 
mere handful, a contemptible little army; or, rather, a 
small scattered rabble. We are a minority so negligible 
that it would appal us to compute it by a count of heads. 
We speak of our thoughts, of our ideas, of our values, as 
the thoughts, the ideas, the values of to-day, but they are 
but an infinitesimal sprinkling in the midst of the multitude 
of surviving fossil thought. 

Social growth does not take place as a whole, but at a 
growing-point only of negligible dimensions; while at any 
moment the whole represents the stratified deposits of all 
the past. 

If only people would realise the simple and uncontro- 
vertible fact that what we call the mind of man is a social 
product they would have grasped three-fourths of 
psychology and of social science. The fact is a truism 
which should be beyond the need of discussion. We think 
by means of ideas, concepts, as they are technically called, 
and not a concept can our mind seize hold of except by 
means of the instrument called a word. And words are 
socially transmitted products. Man is born a dumb 
animal ; words, and all that words carry with them, that is, 
the contents of the human mind, are poured into human 
beings as into so many empty bottles, by the social environ- 
ment. To ignore serenely and utterly that momentous, 
truistic fact is a postulate of the bulk of the current thought 
and talk of professed thinkers and of vulgar ignorance 
alike. People talk of " race," " individuality," " tempera- 
ment," and mental endowments when discussing the 
mentality of human beings, entirely setting aside the fact 



that that mentality is not the individual product of their 
minds, but of human history, of social evolution, and of 
the circumstances which have transmitted to them the pro- 
ducts of that history and evolution. Men differ; they are 
men of to-day, Victorians, Jacobeans, Mediaevals, or Tro- 
glodytes; the present population of the world and of any 
civilised community belongs to widely different epochs and 
phases of evolution. That is the real " inequality," the 
only real inequality. But that inequality is not at all an 
outcome of " race " or of any anthropological or psycho- 
logical conditions, but in the fullest sense of the word an 
artificial product of social conditions. Into some of the 
empty bottles the social organism pours a Victorian mind, 
into others a pre-Victorian mind, into others a mind from 
the Dark Ages of barbaric Europe; into others it pours 
scarcely any mind at all, but the dim mentality of the 
primitive savage. 

It is that inequality, of course, which gives rise to the 
fundamental paralogism of Democracy. The highest ex- 
pression of the evolutionary forces is represented by an 
infinitesimal minority, and the count of heads secures the 
total submersion of that minority under the overwhelming 
preponderance of the unevolved majority. That is 
obvious. But that obvious reasoning overlooks one funda- 
mental circumstance of the situation, and thereby misleads 
many of us into a fallacy. What the democratic tendency 
supplants, or tends to supplant, is not the rule of the evo- 
lutionary minority, but of quite another minority, that of the 
conservators tof established power — not an evolutionary 
minority at all, but the most powerfully armed and the most 
obdurate reactionary and anti-revolutionary minority. 
Democracy, the count: of heads, does not, it is true, sub- 
stitute the infinitesimal evolutionary minority for the 
powerfully armed reactionary minority. But it does tend 
in fact to weaken the latter and to strengthen the former. 
That it weakens the latter is manifest if from nothing else 
than its instinctive detestation of Democracy. That it 
strengthens the evolutionary minority is a consequence of 
the fact that the general direction of that minority's ten- 
dencies must necessarily coincide, at least roughly, with 
that of the lowest and numerically largest strata, of the pro- 
letariat, of the workers, of the instruments of established 



power. The rebellious proletarians — their mental activity 
necessarily means rebellion — are, from the nature of the 
situation, evolutionary. For two reasons. First because 
they are rebels, and all rebellion against established power 
is evolutionary, and conversely all evolution is rebellion; 
secondly, they are by virtue of their situation immune from 
the authority of the falsified values of the power-holders' 
tradition. Thus it is that the proletariat, the opposite cul- 
tural extreme to the aristocracy of thought, is its natural 
ally. However unsatisfactory and distressing direct inter- 
course between the two extremes may be, however limited, 
" coarse," artless the mentality of the proletariat, 
the general direction of their outlook and aims is, owing to 
their immunity from the crippling effect of power-thought 
and to the logic of their situation, in much closer harmony 
with that of the aristocracy of thought than that of the cul- 
tured established power. Superficial intercourse with a 
cultured Church dignitary, say, is far more harmonious, 
pleasant and congenial to us than intercourse with the 
roughly articulate proletarian ; but in general orientation of 
thought it is with the latter that we shall coincide, while we 
shall be toto coelo at variance with the former. The " cul- 
ture," the " education " supplied by established power in 
public school, university, and the literature of established 
power, cut both ways. By giving access to the materials 
of thought they incidentally furnish the instruments of evo- 
lution, but it is quite against their intention that they do so. 
Their object is to pour into the empty bottles every falsi- 
fication and deformation that human thought has suffered at 
the hands of power, and to guard against the evolutionary 
use of the materials of thought. And it is the most con- 
crete demonstration of the magnitude and fundamental 
character of those falsifications that, in the result, the 
" ignorant," " uncultured " proletarian is, thanks to his 
immunity from them, in a better position to think in terms 
of living and evolutionary thought than the most highly 
polished product of transmitted culture. 

We are therefore in general democratic, however invalid 
to us the principle of democracy, however much at variance 
we may be with many of the aspects of democracy. By a 
curious but very natural paradox, the anti-evolutionary 
minority is also democratic ; it is for the " principles " of 



democracy that it very loudly clamours, that is, for " the 
rights of minorities," that is, its "rights"; just as the sur- 
viving mediaeval inquisitors and religious persecutors 
righteously call for " toleration " in days when they them- 
selves are in need of " toleration." 

But we, we to whom Victorians, Mediaevals, Troglo- 
dytes are essentially fossil, though not extinct, forms of 
human evolution, what are we ? 

We know one another at the first words in any inter- 
change of thought, we know one another for kindred, for 
men of to-day. By an infallible freemasonry we seize at 
once in a man, in an article, in a book the sharp, unmis- 
takable distinction ; a man either belongs to the aristocracy 
of living thought or to the phantom multitude of the sur- 
viving Past; he is either one of us or he is essentially 
against us. In our views, in our judgments, in our 
estimates, we may differ widely and profoundly. It is not 
the colour of our opinions in philosophy, in science, in 
politics that makes us kin, that makes us living men of 
to-day. We may differ about that which is close to our 
hearts, about that which we deem fundamental and essen- 
tial; we may diverge in diametrically opposite directions 
from our starting-points. But we nevertheless know and 
feel ourselves to belong to the same kindred of the mind, 
to be of a different world, of a different phase of evolution 
from the multitude of pseudo-living survivals. Wherein 
does that subtle kinship consist? Every distinction, 
however subtle, that is real is susceptible of definite appre- 
hension. The mark by which we recognise one another is 
that our values, our judgments, our outlooks, are genuinely 
our own ; they are living, growing realities, not bequeathed 
ancestral mummies moving with a simulated animation. 
They are not the mentality which the social environment 
has poured into us, but the products of our own thought. 
We recognise one another by our common repudiation of 
values and standards, which the social environment desires 
us to accept on its authority alone. We decline to be 
passive recipients of the mentality it pours into us; we 
demand to see the title-deeds of the thought which we 
admit into our minds, we repudiate all privilege and exact 
validity, we discard all tabus and all sanctities. That is 
wherein we all agree, wherein we are manifest to one 



another as men whose thought is actually living, moving b*y 
virtue of its own intrinsic animation, and sharply distin- 
guished from thought which is literally dead, haunting the 
daylight with semblances of that which once existed in 
past ages. 

Our "differences of opinion," our parting of the ways; 
it is not those that matter. Not our conclusions, but the 
mode of their birth, not the errors of our views, but the spirit 
of our search, of our thought. I believe — I know that to 
many of us the belief will appear visionary, and I will not 
stay here to substantiate it — I believe that, given equal un- 
detected honesty of thought and equal access to the avail- 
able materials of thought to all, " differences of opinion " 
must ultimately melt away, and all individual views 
coalesce in all essentials. In other words I believe in 
truth. Most of our " differences of opinion " are, after all, 
differences of words, of mode of expression. And it is a 
proof that our living thought, Our will to true judgment, are 
adequate to their function, and that "differences of 
opinion " are for the most part not the outcome of any 
natural human imbecility, but of the adventitious permu- 
tations poured by the social environment into empty bottles, 
that our conclusions, our views and judgments do, as a 
matter of fact, generally coincide in all essentials. Vic- 
torian thought differs from mediaeval thought and frpm 
living thought, but living thought differs little from Jiving 
thought. It is because of the radical incompatibility 
between the values and standards of living thought and 
the deceased values and standards which the established 
powers of the social environment decants from the urns of 
the Past into passive recipients that our negligible, scat- 
tered minority is appallingly estranged, isolated ^ in the 
phantasmal world of survivals, in fundamental, irrecon- 
cilable opposition to it. We are thewicked, the unpopular 
ones. An unpleasant situation, distressing to most of us. 
Most of us are in our souls overcome by the sense of our 
defeat, of our impotent helplessness before the insolent 
triumph* of the forces that overwhelm us — us, contemptible 
little scattered army. We live under the ceaseless menace 
of intrinsic perils even more formidable than the giant 
forces against which our souls are pitted. We are lonely, 
terribly lonely, speaking an unintelligible language; we 



are " unpopular," with all the subtle penalties that are 
implied by that word. And we are tempted to fail in our 
strength, to doubt ourselves, to dilut3 the living forces that 
actuate us, to yield and compromise, to "reconcile" our 
thought, to clothe and disguise it, to make it " acceptable " 
by a treason more deep than apostasy. And, on the other 
hand, if we stand true and firm, we are prone to be 
embittered, deeply soured by the ineffectual contest. 

The fact is that in the present phase of human evolu- 
tion most of us, the vast majority of our small minority, 
have no clear apprehension of the positive facts which we 
ourselves stand for ; we do not know what we are. We are 
conscious of the abnormality of our situation, not of its 
profound normal reality. Inevitably in transition minds 
the " Nays " predominate over the " Yeas." The un- 
veracity of the things to which we cannot assent is clear and 
palpable; the facts, the veracities which they have concealed 
from our eyes are not so immediately visible. The heaviest 
charge that can be brought against the falsifications of 
power-thought is not so much that they are false, as that they 
have impeded the evolution of true vision ; not their direct 
effect as lies so much as their indirect effects as substitutes 
excluding truth is lamentable. Hence their dissolution too 
often means nihilism rather than faith, the weakness of 
vacuity rather than the strength of confidence. 

We do not realise what we are, we do not know our 
strength. We overwhelmed minority, we unpopular ones, 
we silenced and vanquished ones, we scorned and denied 
ones, we do not know that we are the rulers of the world. 
It is little wonder that we find it difficult to realise it, we 
who can scarcely make our voLe heard in the wilderness, 
we who seem the most powerless of minorities. And yet it 
is no mere optimistic paradox or pious opinion, but a real 
and solid fact; we are actually and inalienably the rulers 
of the world. We are the rulers of the world because we 
impose upon it and dictate to it by an irresistible power 
what is much more than its present allegiance, its present 
thought and values ; we impose on the world the direction 
of its motion. Be our voice never so feeble, be our voice 
silent even, and only the inaudible work of our thought 
proceeding within us, that thought is the determinant of 
the world's motion. In the direction in which our thought 



moves, in that direction and in no other is the world com- 
pelled to move. What we know to be false is irretrievably 
condemned, what we know to be true is the truth towards 
which the world is moving ; our values and no others are the 
values which it is fated to use. Our judgments are the 
supreme court which decides the course of the world's 
development, and beyond which there is no appeal. 

The movement of all growth is determined by its 
growing-point, the movement of all evolution is determined 
by its most advanced development, the movement of all 
thought is determined by the truest, by the most honest 
thought, the movement of the world is determined by its 
thinkers. Oh ! it seems so obvious that the thought of the 
recluse, the solitary thinker, the " philosopher," that the 
dusty old volumes on the top shelves are so absurdly 
remote, aloof from the practical actualities of the moving 
world ! Such ineffectual thought beating its wings in vain. 
It is that thought of the thinker which, as a matter of fact, 
has always determined the movement of the world. By a 
grossly unavoidable and necessary law the topmost thought 
infiltrates all the strata that lie beneath it, down to the very 
lowest, down to the dim thought that is all unconscious of 
the very existence of the thinkers, and to which his thought 
is unintelligible. 

Your demagogues, your labour-leaders, speak of 
the mighty power of rebellious labour, of the power 
of numbers, of numbers rising in their might, con- 
scious of their strength. My numerous friends, you 
are, but for the power imparted to you by the 
solitary thinkers, as powerless as a lump of clay. It is 
your consciousness alone that makes you powerful, and that 
consciousness is the product of thinkers of living thought. 
No movement, no change in the world has ever taken 
place through the operation of any other force; no 
Reformation, no French Revolution, no Nineteenth Cen- 
tury liberations, no Democratic evolutions have ever been 
possible save by virtue of living thought. 

We, the few, the feeble, lonely, impotent, crushed, 
gagged, scorned, triumphed over by all the vociferous 
Powers and Presses — we are the rulers of the world, the 
arbiters of its future destinies; inevitably, inalienably, 



It is in no tone of fatuous exultation that I speak, but 
in very sober and serious humility, and with a somewhat 
overwhelming sense of the responsibility that weighs upon 
us. How are we ruling our kingdom? How are we 
shaping 'the future? Are we sufficiently honest, suffi- 
ciently fearless? According to our honesty and to our 
courage will the future of the world be. On us impersonal 
forces in whom Life strives to ends that are not individual, 
to ends of which we are but the instruments and servants, 
to ends which are neverthless our own, because we are Life, 
and the Future that will arise out of our scattered and 
insulted ashes is nevertheless our future, there weighs a 
solemn responsibility — a responsibility to ourselves. 


Chinese Magic (i 

By Algernon Blackwood 


Dr. Owen Francis felt a sudden wave of pleasure and 
admiration sweep over him as he saw her enter the room. 
He was in the act of going out, in fact, he had already 
said good-bye to his hostess, glad to make his escape from 
the chattering throng, when the tall and graceful young 
woman glided past him. Her carriage was superb; she 
had black eyes with a twinkling happiness in them; her 
mouth was exquisite. Round her neck, in spite of the 
warm afternoon, she wore a soft thing of fur or feathers; 
and as she brushed by to shake the hand he had just shaken 
himself, the tail of this touched his very cheek. Their eyes 
met fair and square. He felt as though her eyes also 
touched him. 

Changing his mind, he lingered another ten minutes, 
chatting with various ladies he did not in the least remem- 
ber, but who remembered him. He did not, of course, 
desire to exchange banalities with these other ladies, yet 
did so gallantly enough. If they found him absent- 
minded, they excused him since he was the famous mental 
specialist whom everybody was proud to know. And all 
the time his eyes never left the tall graceful figure that 
allured him almost to the point of casting a spell upon him. 

His first impression deepened as he watched. He was 
aware of excitement, curiosity, longing; there was a touch 
even of exaltation in him ; yet he took no steps to seek the 
introduction which was easily enough procurable. He 
checked himself, if with an effort. Several times their 
eyes met across the crowded room, he dared to believe — 
he felt instinctively — that his interest was returned. 
Indeed, it was more than instinct, for she was certainly 
aware of his presence, and he even caught her indicating 
him to a woman she spoke with, and evidently asking who 
he was. Once he half bowed, and once, ir spite of him- 



self, he went so far as to smile, and there came, he was 
sure, a faint, delicious brightening of the eyes in answer. 
There was, he fancied, a look of yearning in the face. The 
young woman charmed him inexpressibly ; the very way she 
moved delighted him. Yet at last he slipped out of the 
room without a word, without an introduction, without even 
knowing her name. He chose his moment when her back 
was turned. It was characteristic of him. 

For Owen Francis had ever regarded marriage, for 
himself at least, as a disaster that could be avoided. He 
was in love with his work, and his work was necessary to 
humanity. Others might perpetuate the race, but he must 
heal it. He had come to regard love as the bait where- 
with Nature lays her trap to fulfil her own ends. A man 
in love was a man enjoying a delusion, a deluded man. 
In his case, and he was nearing forty-five, the theory had 
worked admirably, and the dangerous exception that proved 
it had as yet not troubled him. 

" It's come at last — I do believe," he thought to himself, 
as he walked home, a new tumultuous emotion in his blood ; 
" the exception, quite possibly, has come at last. I 
wonder ..." 

And it seemed he said it to the tall graceful figure by 
his side, who turned up dark eyes smilingly to meet his 
own, and whose lips repeated softly his last two words " I 
wonder . . . -" 

The experience, being new to him, was baffling. A 
part of his nature, long dormant, received the authentic 
thrill that pertains actually to youth. He was a man of 
chaste, abstemious custom. The reaction was vehement. 
That dormant part of him became obstreperous. He 
thought of his age, his appearance, his prospects ; he looked 
thirty-eight, he was not unhandsome, his position was 
secure, even remarkable. That gorgeous young woman — 
he called her gorgeous — haunted him. Never could he 
forget that face, those eyes. It was extraordinary — he had 
left her there unspoken to, unknown, when an introduction 
would have been the simplest thing irf the world. 

" But it still is," he reflected. And the reflection filled 
his being with a flood of joy. 

He checked himself again. Not so easily is established 
habit routed. He felt instinctively that, at last, he had met 

417 P 


his mate ; if he followed it up he was a man in love, a lost 
man enjoying a delusion, a deluded man. But the way she 
had looked at him ! That air of intuitive invitation which 
not even the sweetest modesty could conceal ! He felt an 
immense confidence in himself ; also he felt sure of her. 

The presence of that following figure, already precious, 
came with him into his house, even into his study at the 
back where he sat over a number of letters by the open 
window. The pathetic little London garden showed its 
pitiful patch. The lilac had faded, but a smell of roses 
entered. The sun was just behind the buildings opposite, 
and the garden lay soft and warm in summer shadows. 

He read and tossed aside the letters ; one only interested 
him, from Edward Farque, whose journey to China had 
interrupted a friendship of long standing. Edward 
Farque's work on Eastern art and philosophy, on Chinese 
painting and Chinese thought in particular, had made its 
mark. He was an authority. He was to be back about 
this time, and his friend smiled with pleasure. " Dear old 
unpractical dreamer," as I used to call him, he mused. 
"He's a success, anyhow!" And as he mused, the 
presence that sat beside him came a little closer^ yet at the 
same time faded. Not that he forgot her — that was im- 
possible — but that just before opening the letter from his 
friend, he had come to a decision. He had definitely made 
up his mind to seek acquaintance. The reality replaced 
the remembered substitute. 

"As the newspapers may have warned you," ran the familiar and kinky 
writing, "lam back in England after what the scribes term my ten years 
of exile in Cathay. I have taken a little house in Hampstead for six 
months, and am just settling in. Come to us to-morrow night and let me 
prove it to you. Come to dinner. We shall have much to say; we both 
are ten years wiser. You know how glad I shall be to see my old-time 
critic and disparager, but let me add frankly that I want to ask you 
a few professional, or, rather, technical, questions. So prepare yourself 
to come as doctor and as friend. I am writing, as the papers said truth- 
fully, a treatise on Chinese thought. But — don't shy! — it is about Chinese 
Magic that I want your technical advice (the last two words were substi- 
tuted for " professional wisdom," which had been crossed out) and the 
benefit of your vast experience. So come, old friend, come quickly, and 
come hungry! I'll feed your body as you shall feed my mind. 

" Yours, 

" Edward Farque." 

"P.S.— '"The coming of a friend from a far-off land— is not this true 
joy? ' " 

Dr. Francis laid down the letter with a pleased antici- 



patory chuckle, and it was the touch in the final sentence 
that amused him. In spite of being an authority, Farque 
was clearly the same fanciful, poetic dreamer as of old. 
He quoted Confucius as in other days. The firm but 
kinky writing had not altered either. The only sign of 
novelty he noticed was the use of scented paper, for a faint 
and pungent aroma clung to the big quarto sheet. 

"A Chinese habit, doubtless," he decided, sniffing it 
with a puzzled air of disapproval. Yet it had nothing in 
common with the scented cachets some ladies use too 
lavishly, so that even the air of the street is polluted by 
their passing for a dozen yards. He was familiar with 
every kind of perfumed notepaper used in London, Paris, 
and Constantinople. This one was different. It was 
delicate and penetrating for all its faintness, pleasurable 
too. He rather liked it, and while annoyed that he could 
not name it, he sniffed at the letter several times, as though 
it were a flower. 

" I'll go/' he decided at once, and wrote an acceptance 
then and there. He went out and posted it. He meant 
to prolong his walk into the Park, taking his chief pre- 
occupation, the face, the eyes, the figure, with him. 
Already he was composing the note of inquiry to Mrs. 
Malleson, his hostess of the tea-party, the note whose 
willing answer should give him the name, the address, the 
means of introduction he had now determined to secure. 
He visualised that note of inquiry, seeing it in his mind's 
eye; only, for some odd reason, he saw the kinky writing 
of Farque instead of his own more elegant script. Asso- 
ciation of ideas and emotions readily explained this. Two 
new and unexpected interests had entered his life on the 
same day, and within half an hour of each other. What 
he could not so readily explain, however, was that two 
words in his friend's ridiculous letter, and in that kinky 
writing, stood out sharply from the rest. As he slipped his 
envelope into the mouth of the red pillar-box they shone 
vividly in his mind. These two words were " Chinese 


It was the warmth of his friend's invitation as much as 
his own state of inward excitement that decided him 

419 P2 


suddenly to anticipate his visit by twenty-four hours. It 
would clear his judgment and help his mind, if he spent 
the evening at Hampstead rather than alone with his own 
thoughts. " A dose of China," he thought, with a smile, 
"will do me good. Edward won't mind. I'll telephone." 

He left the Park soon after -six o'clock and acted upon 
his impulse. The connection was bad, the wire buzzed 
and popped and crackled; talk was difficult; he did not 
hear properly. The Professor had not yet come in, 
apparently. Francis said he would come up anyhow on 
the chance. 

" Velly pleased," said the voice in his ear, as he rang 

Going into his study, he drafted the note that should 
result in the introduction that was now, it appeared, the 
chief object of his life. The way this woman with the 
black, twinkling eyes obsessed him was — he admitted it 
with joy — extraordinary. The draft he put in his pocket, 
intending to re-write it next morning, and all the way up 
to Hampstead Heath, the gracious figure glided silently 
beside him, the eyes were ever present, his cheek still 
glowed where the feather boa had touched his skin. 
Edward Farque remained in the background. In fact, it 
was on the very doorstep, having rung the bell, that Francis 
realised he must pull himself together. " I've come to see 
old Farque," he reminded himself, with a smile. " I've 
got to be interested in him and his, and, probably, for an 

hour or two, to talk Chinese " when the door opened 

noiselessly, and he saw facing him with a grin of celestial 
welcome on his yellow face, a Chinaman. 

" Oh ! " he said, with a start. He had not expected a 
Chinese servant. 

;i Velly pleased," the man bowed him in. 

Dr. Francis stared round him with astonishment he 
could not conceal. A great golden idol faced him in the 
hall, its gleaming visage blazing out of a sort of miniature 
golden palanquin, with a grin, half dignified, half cruel. 
Fully double human size, it blocked the way, looking so 
life-like that it might have moved to meet him without too 
great a shock to what seemed possible. It rested on a 
throne with four massive legs, carved, the doctor saw, with 
serpents, dragons, and mythical monsters generally. 



Round it on every side were other things in keeping. Name 
them he could not, describe them he did not try. He 
summed them up in one word — China : pictures, weapons, 
cloths and tapestries, bells, gongs and figures of every sort 
and kind imaginable. 

Being ignorant of Chinese matters, Dr. Francis stood and 
looked about him in a mental state of some confusion. He 
had the feeling that he had entered a Chinese temple, for 
there was a faint smell of incense hanging about the house 
that was, to say the least, un-English. Nothing English, 
in fact, was visible at all. • The matting on the floor, the 
swinging curtains of bamboo beads that replaced the 
customary doors, the silk draperies and pictured cushions, 
the bronze and ivory, the screens hung with fantastic 
embroideries, everything was Chinese. Hampstead 
vanished from his thoughts. The very lamps were in 
keeping, the ancient lacquered furniture as well. The 
value of what he saw, an expert could have told him, was 

" You likee ? " queried the voice at his side. 

He had forgotten the servant. He turned sharply. 

" Very much ; it's wonderfully done," he said. " Makes 
you feel at home, John, eh ? " he added tactfully, with a 
smile, and was going to ask how long all this preparation 
had taken, when a voice sounded on the stairs beyond. It 
was a voice he knew, a note of hearty welcome in its deep 

" The coming of a friend from a far-off land, even from 
Harley Street — is not this true joy?" he heard, and the 
next minute was shaking the hand of his old and valued 
friend. The intimacy between them had always been oT 
the truest. 

" I almost expected a pigtail," observed Francis, 
looking him affectionately up and down, " but, really — why, 
you've hardly changed at all ! " 

" Outwardly, not as much, perhaps, as Time expects," 

was the happy reply, "but inwardly !" He scanned 

appreciatively the burly figure of the doctor in his turn. 
" And I can say the same of you," he declared, still holding 
his hand tight. " This is a real pleasure, Owen," he went 
on in his deep voice, " to see you again is a joy to me. Old 
friends meeting again — there's nothing like it in life, I 



believe, nothing." He gave the hand another squeeze 
before he let it go. " And we," he added leading the way 
into a room across the hall, " neither of us are fugitives 
from life. We take what we can, I mean."' 

The doctor smiled as he noted the un-English turn of 
language, and together they entered a sitting-room that 
was, again, more like some inner chamber of a Chinese 
temple than a back room in a rented Hampstead house. 

" I only knew ten minutes ago that you were coming, 
my dear fellow, the scholar was saying, as his friend gazed 
round him with increased astonishment, " or I would have 
prepared more suitably for your reception. I was out till 
late. All this " — he waved his hand — " surprises you, of 
course, but the fact is I have been home ten days already, 
and most of what you see was arranged for me in advance 
of my arrival. Hence its apparent completion. I say, 
1 apparent,' because, actually, it is far from faithfully 
carried out. Yet to exceed," he added, " is as bad as to 
fall short" 

The doctor watched him while he listened to a some- 
what lengthy explanation of the various articles surround- 
ing them. The speaker — he confirmed his first impression — 
had changed -little during the long interval; the same 
enthusiasm was in him as before, the same fire and dreami- 
ness alternately in the fine grey eyes, the same humour and 
passion about the mouth, the same free gestures, and the 
same big voice. Only the lines had deepened on the 
forehead, and on the fine face the air of thoughtfulness was 
also deeper. It was Edward Farque as of old, scholar, 
poet, dreamer and enthusiast, despiser of Western civilisa- 
tion, contemptuous of money, generous and upright, a type 
of value, an individual. 

" You've done well, done splendidly, Edward, old 
man," said his friend presently, after hearing of Chinese 
wonders that took him somewhat beyond his depth' perhaps. 
"No one is more pleased than I. I've watched your 
books. You haven't regretted England, I'll be bound?" 
he asked. 

c The philosopher has no country, in any case," was 
the reply, steadilv given. " But out there, I confess I've 
found my home." He leaned forward, a deeper earnest- 
ness in his tone and expression. And into his face, as he 



spoke, came a glow of happiness. " My heart," he said, 
softly, " is in China." 

" I see it is, I see it is," put in the other, conscious that 
he could not honestly share his friend's enthusiasm. " And 
you're fortunate to be free to live where your treasure is," 
he added, after a moment's pause. " You must be a happy 
man. Your passion amounts to nostalgia, I suspect. 
Already yearning to get back there, probably?" 

Farque gazed at him for some seconds with shining 
eyes. " You remember the Persian saying, I'm sure," he 
said. " ' You see a man drink, but you do not see his 
thirst.' Well," he added, laughing happily, " you may see 
me off in six months' time, but you will not see my 
happiness.' 2 

While he went on talking, the doctor glanced round the 
room, marvelling still at the exquisite taste of everything, 
the neat arrangement, the perfect matching of form an'd 
colour. A woman might have done this thing, occurred to 
him, as the haunting figure shifted deliciouslv into the fore- 
ground of his mind again. The thought of her had been 
momentarily replaced by all he heard and saw. She 
now returned, filling him with joy, anticipation and enthu- 
siasm. Presently, when it was his turn to talk, he would 
tell his friend about this new, unimagined happiness that 
had burst upon him like a sunrise. Presently, but not just 
yet. He remembered, too, with a passing twinge of pos- 
sible boredom to come, that there must be some delay 
before his own heart could unburden itself in its turn. 
Farque wanted to ask some professional questions, of 
course. He had for the moment forgotten that part of his 
letter in his general interest and astonishment. 

" Happiness, yes . . . " he murmured, aware that his 
thoughts had wandered, and catching at the last word he 
remembered hearing. " As you said just now in vour own 
queer way — you haven't changed a bit, let me tell you, in 
your picturesqueness of quotation, Edward ! — one must 
not be fugitive from life; one must seize happiness when 
and where it offers." 

He said it lightly enough, hugging internally his own 
sweet secret; but he was a little surprised at the earnestness 
of his friend's rejoinder : " Both of us, I see," came the 
deep voice, backed by the flash of the far-seeing grey eyes, 



" have made some progress in the doctrine of life and 
death." He paused, gazing at the other with sight that 
was obviously turned inwards upon his own thoughts. 
" Beauty," he went on presently, his tone even more 
serious, "has been my lure; yours, Reality ..." 

" You don't flatter either of us, Edward. That's too 
exclusive a statement," put in the doctor. He was 
becoming every minute more and more interested in the 
workings of his friend's mind. Something about the signs 
offered eluded his understanding. " Explain yourself, old 
scholar-poet. I'm a dull, practical mind, remember, and 
can't keep pace with Chinese subtleties." 

"You've left out Beauty," was the quiet rejoinder, 
" while 7 left out Reality. That's neither Chinese nor 
subtle. It's simply true." 

"A bit wholesale, isn't it? " laughed Francis. " A big 
generalisation, rather." 

A bright light seemed to illuminate the scholar's face. 
It was as though an inner lamp was suddenly lit. At the 
same moment the sound of a soft gong floated in from the 
hall outside, so soft that the actual strokes were not dis- 
tinguishable in the wave of musical vibration that reached 
the ear. 

Farque rose to lead the way into dinner. 

" What if I " he whispered, " have combined the 

two? " And upon his face was a look of joy that reached 
down into the other's own full heart with its unexpectedness 
and wonder. It was the last remark in the world he had 
looked for. He wondered for 'a moment whether he 
interpreted it correctly. 

" By Jove . . . ! " he exclaimed. " Edward, what 
d'you mean?" 

" You shall hear — after dinner," said Farque, his voice 
mysterious, his eyes still shining with his inner joy. " I 
told you I have some questions to ask you — professionally." 
And they took their seats round an ancient, marvellous 
table, lit by two swinging lamps of soft green jade, while 
the Chinese servant waited on them with the silent move- 
ments and deft neatness of his imperturbable celestial race. 

(To be concluded?) 

Letters : Posted and Unposted (iii 

By Constance Malleson 


Edwardes Square, 

November Jth, 1918. 

Dear Heart, 

Such a day ! The streets are wet, filthy, streaming with 
mud and slush, and the pavement is nothing but a pat- 
terned mess of dirty footprints and puddles. The hot 
smell of oil and petrol from passing cars penetrates almost 
gratef ully through the coldness, for the rain is pouring down 
and is sweeping in great gusts across the road. But I'm so 
.... light-hearted ! All morning I've been walking 
about in my " bonnet rouge," without an umbrella. I've 
let the rain splash my cheeks, and trickle down my nose, 
and beat all about my body. And do you know why? 
Because my thoughts were flying on April winds, and I was 
hearing the whole of the liquid bird-song that flows into the 
world, as dawn fades before the greater glory of day. And 
I wasn't walking in the muddy London streets at all. I 
was striding with you through splendid country spaces, out 
beneath the living sky. Your eager face was level with 
mine as we trod the road, in time with one another, and 
with eternity. 

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Always I am dreaming of long days with you, days 
spent deep in the country. To walk and walk and walk, 
and then, when the sun is setting, to find one's self at an 
inn. Do you know "The Blue Ball" at Countisbury? 
And do you know that I love to walk all day without eating ? 

" You look to the sun," Kinglake says, " for he is your 
taskmaster, and by him you know the measure of the work 
that you have done, and the measure of the work that 
remains for you to do." Then, when the sun has spent his 

425 p* 


glory, when the world is grown quiet beneath a faded sky, 
when for the last two miles the road has lain wrapped in 
darkness, then, it is good to step into the kindly firelit 
parlour of " The Blue Ball." There, in that small, low- 
roofed room, we two would draw close to the fire, and we 
would watch the golden sparks as they fly upward and are 
lost in the chimney's black immensity. On the tiny 
window-sill of the parlour, quantities of queer green 
plants live in dwarfish pots; and in front of the 
window there's a long table, and sitting at it, 
reading (waiting really, just for you and for me), there's a 
dear Devonshire woman whose cheeks are brighter than ripe 
apples. First, she'd smile at us, and then, laying her 
spectacles down on her open book, she'd bustle off to get 
the tea. When she'd gone, I know I should j ump up to see 
what book she was reading. And do you know .... it 
would be Wuthering H eights. 

I should feel oddly moved finding that book there, and 
I wouldn't come back at once to the fireside : I'd want to be 
alone. I would go and stand in the doorway where the 
fierce breath from the moors could sweep through my hair, 
and the voice of Exmoor, the voice of the lonely places, 
would be calling, calling to me across Countisbury Hill. I 
would stand there, quite still, while the storm came rattling 
over. And going indoors, I wouldn't be able to talk, just 
at first. The small lamplit parlour and the shadows 
chasing across the stone floor, would seem .... quaint 
.... unreal. But the thought that came to me out there 
in the storm, would have to be spoken : " // / had a son, I 
would call him Heathcliff" 

Perhaps for one short moment, I would see your eyes 

burning from across the darkness And then tea ! A 

big, knobbly loaf, and boiled eggs, two each, and a beautiful 
big pat of butter with one of those delightfully superior- 
looking swans stamped on it ! Should I get to know you a 
little, while I watered the pot? And I wonder, do you 
smoke a pipe in the country? No; I believe you'd still 
smoke my cigarettes, while that naughty-child smile of yours 
lurked about your mouth. Do you know ... Of course 
you don't; . . . but / do; I know the absolutely first time 
I ever saw you. It was at a labour meeting last spring, 
when you were home on leave. " What a queer, rough 



person," I thought. In that very moment, I saw you with 
the Peak country as a background — the rugged, black, Peak 

They say first impressions are always, eventually, right. 

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Dear one, I love you .... and I have it in me to 
give you a deep, deep love ; a strong and unchanging love. 
Sometimes I think that in your face I have seen all the 
beauty and the poetry of the world ; all the harshness, too, 
and the striving, and the desperate hunger. But I think 
that you have never quite touched bottom; you have 
never known the pain, the pain that is beyond all 
bearing, nor the madness, nor the despair, nor the very 
agony that is at the root of things. 


Edwardes Square, 

November nth, 1918. 
9 a.m. 

They signed the armistice at 5 a.m. this morning. An 
unspeakable thankfulness floods my heart and sweeps 
everything before it, leaving no room for any other feeling. 

Nothing personal matters any more, nothing 


Edwardes Square, 

December qth, 1918. 

The day before yesterday I saw you for a moment. 
You looked terrible; so worn and haggard. Your face 
haunted me all day. I spent most of the afternoon ringing 
up stage doors and box offices to try to get through to you, 
but without success. I knew you were rehearsing somewhere, 
but I didn't know where. I was having supper out, but I 
left early, and went straight to your house. I had to. But 
when I got to your door, there wasn't even an answer to my 
knock. It was all dark and empty. I peered in at the 
windows, but everything was deserted. In your study a few 
red embers glowed darkly among the dust and ruins of a 
half-dead fire. I turned and walked away with a feeling 
of utter desolation in my heart. 

But yesterday, you came to me. You told me you had 
tried to find me the night before. You, too, had come and 
looked for a light in my window, but you, too, had found 

427 p * 2 


everything in darkness. As you talked, you went and sat 
down in your usual chair. You looked very unhappy. 
Your words came jerkily : 

" Things are rather difficult . . . just now . . . I'll 
have to tell somebody . . . soon. I've been in love with 
. . . someone ... for a long time. I — I don't think she 
loves me . . . and I must be loved. She mothers me . . . 
I want to tell her about you. I want this to be bigger . . . 
I want it ... to grow. She knows . . . that I'm hungry 

We went out together. We went on the top of a 'bus. 
We talked shop, plans, your career. I stayed with you 
until it was time to go down to the theatre. After the show, 
we met again and worked. 

Sitting in your room, working with you, I began to think 
that never before had I known happiness. 


Edwardes Square, 

December Jth, 1918. 

Yesterday was the last night at the theatre; and so 
to-night, my first free evening, I asked you to dine with me. 
and you said you would. 

We dined at Bellini's. The first time I ever went there 
was a glorious summer day about two years ago. It was 
the sort of day that makes me madly extravagant. I re- 
member buying a new hat on that particular occasion and 
taking a taxi home to get my cheque-book (having no money 
on me), and the saleswoman apparently thinking I wasn't 
the sort to be trusted ! That hat (a winged thing just blown 
together), was christened " Bellini." 

I don't know why, but from the very first the place 
reminded me of Paris. And I love Paris. You were 
already waiting for me in the little hall when I arrived — 
though I wasn't late . . . How we did talk during dinner ! 
You said at the time that you hadn't talked so much for 
years. You told me about your time in the Army — 19 14 
until nearly the end. 

When we got up to go, the restaurant was quite empty. 
We walked across Bond Street — a pathetic street by night 
— and through somehow into Berkeley Square. We didn't 
speak for quite a long time. We were so much more alone, 



out in the open night; just you and I together, walking very 
fast, we didn't quite know where. At last you spoke : 

" It's Anne Howard I'm in love with . . . I've told her 
about you — she still likes you." 

I pressed your arm closer : " I'm glad of that." 

We were half-way up Mount Street when you spoke 
again. Your voice was choked. There was an awful 
simplicity in your words : " Anne's in love with someone 

" Are you sure ? " 

" She told me." 

Underground in the dark cavern of instinct, joy rose, a 
small, devilish thing, wormlike, pestiferous. It wriggled 
and leapt and crawled, contaminating the very depths of 
my soul. Then from above a greater joy seized me : You 
had told me. You trusted me. In that moment I became 
equal to your trust. Your pain was my pain. The shining 
claws of your pain were fastened in my heart . . . 

We had crossed Park Lane. Deep among the stretch- 
ing shadows of the Park we found two seats under an old 
gnarled tree. I threw my hat on the ground, and you drew 
my head down upon your shoulder. Oh, it was good to be 
near you, and good to feel the cold night air against my 
forehead. The stars sparkled like a million diamond 
arrows piercing the velvet cloth of heaven. Infinitely far 
and remote, the still dead planet shed upon the earth a 
frozen and ghostly radiance. In aching bewilderment I 
gazed up at the sky. I wanted to take my heart and lay it 
upon the altar of the night. 

" What does Dennis think about all this? " 

I moistened my lips. 

" When we were married ... I was awfully in love 
with him. We were wonderfully happy. Then ... he 
fell in love with someone else. That broke things up for 
a bit, but now . . . we're very real friends. There's hardly 
anything in the whole world we don't agree about." 

The shadows deepened. They hemmed us in. They 
lay like gaping trenches seared across the earth. My heart 
seemed dead ; my lips dumb. I sought your eyes. You 
drew me close against you, and it seemed to me then, that 
the whirling universe had come suddenly to a standstill, had 
lurched, and had remained deathly still. The moment 



grew, lengthened, and reached into eternity — then, I felt 
the passion of your groping hand. Our hearts merged into 
the heart of all life, and were complete in fierce destruction, 
I leant back, sobbing a little, my head upon your shoulder, 
ipv cheek against your cheek. 

Out of the terrified earth, along the ground rising, a 
whisper came, slipping half strangled through your lips : 
; It's Anne I'm hungry for ... I had to tell you . . ." 
We went together to the stage door of Anne's theatre. 
The show had been over some time. 

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Alone, I walked until morning. 

(To be continued) 


The Socialist 

By S. H. McGrady 

Every afternoon the old Socialist went for a walk through 
the fields. He walked slowly, leaning on a stick, for all 
his life he had fought a hard fight. For years he had toiled, 
and now, when all things were fading, he had no regrets. 

This afternoon, when Spring, clothed all in white, was 
dancing in the meadows, he had gone further than was his 
custom. Never again, perhaps, would he gaze on the mist 
in the elm trees, or hear the call of the cuckoo. 

So, with feeble steps he crossed the tiny bridge over the 
brook, and entered the wood. He felt rather tired. It was 
a long time since he had come so far. At last, however, he 
reached the little waterfall that splashed with silver spray 
among the leaves, and, sitting down, he feasted his eyes on 
the vernal beauty of the scene. Here a gorse bush flamed, 
and there, fresh and graceful, stood a wild cherry tree in 
blossom. Under the branches were shy anemones and 
tufts of yellow primroses, and in the undergrowth a bull- 
finch was calling to his mate. 

For a long time he sat there, with his back against an 
aged ash, and his feet at the water's edge. The sunlight, 
peeping through the leaves, touched gently the grey hair 
and patient, rugged face. He watched the tiny, brown 
mice, squeaking and playing in and out of the bushes. He 
remained immovable, holding his breath, while two wild, 
glowing hares, with quivering nostrils, gambolled around 
him. Then — save for the music of running water — all was 
still, and the woods were full of beauty and a great silence. 

A moment later a thrush poured out his melody. 

For a long time the old Socialist sat there. Very glad 
was he for this vision of spring. He thought of the spring- 
times of long ago, when he and his merry companions 
wandered over the countryside, looking for eggs or playing 
robbers. He thought of the best springtime of all, when a 
trusting girl put her hand in his. And he thought of the 
factories in which he had worked, with the grime and grease 



and roaring machinery, and the monotonous, never-ending 
toil, while out in the fields the fresh, gentle wind was blow- 
ing, and the buds were bursting into blossom. 

But, most of all, he thought of the fight he had fought 
for freedom. How, after the day's work was over, tired 
and weary, perhaps, he had given the few hours remaining 
to Humanity. For the cause he loved he had sacrificed 
leisure and pleasure, domestic happiness even. He had 
never received a decent education, and it was with difficulty 
that he had taught himself to read and write. Literature, 
music, art were not for him. Nearly always he had lived 
among the smoke and dirt, slaving in the works, day after 
day, year after year, with intervals for food and sleep, so 
that on the morrow the human machine might be ready 
again for the dreary, weary monotony of soulless toil. To- 
morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow .... 

It was not for himself that he had fought. It was not 
for himself he had struggled against the hideous machine 
that ground human lives to powder. It was not for him- 
self that he had striven to express in words the wild 
strivings and longings that gathered in his heart. He had 
never had a chance. But the boys and girls, shouting and 
playing in the streets, and the peaceful, sleeping babies — 
life must be better for them. 

Socialist ! How often had the very men and women 
whose battles he fought turned against him, laughed him to 
scorn. Yet he loved them, his comrades, not less, but 
rather all the more. For they, too, had never had a chance. 

Socialist ! Groping in the dark ! Yet, even now, there 
were signs of the dawn. The thousands of ordinary, 
obscure men, like himself, had not lived in vain. 

So the old man sat there in the stillness of the wood, 
watching the water splashing over the stones, looking up at 
the patches of blue above the pine trees, dreaming, 

All at once, however, he realised with a start that he 
was not alone. 

A short distance away, watching him intently, a stranger 
was standing. His face was gaunt and pale, his lips firm, 
his eyes piercing. At first glance the expression seemed 
stern and relentless, cruel even. Yet there was something 
about him that spoke of kindness and sympathy, as if he 



had seen much pain and suffering, and knew that these, too, 
are the gifts of God. 

" It is very pleasant here," said the old Socialist. 

" You are right," answered the stranger, sitting down 
on the grassy bank beside him. 

Although the weather was warm he wore a heavy cloak, 
seemingly without inconvenience, for there were no traces 
of perspiration on the pale, calm face. 

" I can easily see that you do not belong to these parts," 
observed the Socialist. 

" I travel a good deal," answered the other. 

His voice was gentle, and for all his severity there was 
something charming about his smile. 

" All my life I have longed to travel, but being a poor 
man, I have never had an opportunity of doing so. How 
wonderful it must be to visit new lands, to see strange 
peoples, to study their customs and ways, to realise that 
all these men are brothers, that they, too, are crying in the 

The stranger agreed. He condemned the caste system. 
Divisions of class were nothing to him. Yet everywhere 
society erected barriers. For himself he saw no difference 
between a peasant and a prince. 

" I am an old man," continued the Socialist. " To-day, 
because it is spring-time, I ventured a little further than 
usual, and I have been sitting here by the water, listening 
to the birds, and living over again the years that are gone. 
And I have been thinking, too, of the future, and wondering 
if it will be well with the cause I have at heart. I want 
all men to have an equal chance. I want to do away with 
class privileges. I want the world for democracy. But 
sometimes, as to-day, I am afraid. Perhaps, after all, 
tyranny and capitalism will prevail. Perhaps there will 
always be serfs and masters to grind them down. Yet, 
whatever the future, I have no regrets; for I have fought 
and suffered for the truth." 

" Do not despair," said the stranger. " Only this 
morning I arrived here from a far-off land, where all men, 
without exception, have the same rights." 

The eyes of the old Socialist lit up with enthusiasm. 
' Tell me," he exclaimed eagerly, " tell me about this 
happy, far-off land." 



" In that land," answered the stranger with a kind 
smile, " all men and women are equal. There you will 
find no class distinctions, no monopoly of land or gold, no 
corrupt politicians, no savage wars. For there all men are 

" Splendid ! Splendid ! " cried the old man, clasping 
his hands. 

" In that land all share alike. A king and a beggar, 
going there, are equal ; and a nobleman and a dustman 
receive the same treatment. There are no poor and no 
rich — for everything is in common — no hunger and poverty, 
no strife and cruelty and hatred. For all is rest and peace." 

Music rang in the ears of the old Socialist, and glad 
was his heart. Wonderful, far-off land ! How lucky was 
this fascinating stranger to have lived there. 

"Would you not like to see this country?" asked the 
speaker, leaning towards him, " you who have struggled 
and suffered that men may become brothers." 

" Indeed, I would," cried the old man, his eyes spark- 
ling. " But I am old and feeble and poor — as you see." 

"Yet there mighty statesmen, and silver-tongued poets, 
even the rich, would welcome you as a comrade, and you 
and they would be one." 

Fascinated, the old Socialist gazed at the pale face of 
the stranger, and met his deep, piercing eyes. His limbs 
were trembling, his heart beating violently, for upon him 
there came a vague, indescribable feeling, a strange mix- 
ture of contentment and fear. Surely, he had fought a 
good fight, and now he was old and longed for rest. And 
this stranger would help him, and show him the way. 

" Take me — if you will — to this wonderful far-off land." 

Smiling, the stranger stretched out his hand, and laid 
his cold, thin fingers upon the fingers of the old Socialist. 

" Come ! We will go together. I will be your guide." 

And as the old man looked, the hard lines on the 
stranger's face melted away, and he seemed no longer stern 
and cruel, but full of kindness and hope. And his eyes 
were those of a little child. 

" Tell me," he whispered. " What is your name ? " 

" I am Death," answered the stranger gently, taking 
the old man's hand. 


The Poet's Allegory 

By Stephen Southwold 

Part I. 

(With acknowledgments to the Fabulist.) 

All through the long warm days of summer the grass- 
hopper played among the grasses of the field. He sang 
to the working bees, cheering their laden flight. Near by 
an ant worked unceasingly. She held no converse with the 
bees, nor listened to the song of the grasshopper. Always 
she worked, storing food. 

Now summer drew on to autumn, and autumn slipped 
into winter. There was no grass in the fields, and the trees 
were bare. The grasshopper shivered in the cold wind, 
and vainly sought food. At last, hungry and desolate, he 
presented himself at the ant's house, and begged for food 
and shelter. 

" What did you do in the summer days? " said the ant. 
" Did you store no food ? " " None," said the grasshopper ; 
"but I sang to the bees." " Sang?" said the ant. "Go 
now, then, and dance; that will keep you warm." And, 
laughing, she drove the grasshopper from her door. 

Part II. 
(With apologies to God.) 

All through the summer-time of life a poet sang. Those 
who were laden stopped a moment to listen to his music. 
Near by Big Business toiled unceasingly — deaf, blind and 
silent. Always he worked, storing up money. 

Now the days of the poet drew on to middle-age, and 
soon middle-age slipped into impotence and penury. He 
sang no more. At last, in despair, he presented himself at 
the house of Big Business, and begged for food and shelter. 

" What did you do in your summer-time ? " said Big 
Business; "did you store nothing?" "Nothing indeed," 
answered the poet; "but I sang to the people. I made 
music for the world." " Made music ! " laughed Big Busi- 
ness ; " but did you make cent, per cent. ? Go to the 

So the poet went to the devil, who received him warmly. 


The Recognition of 
Mr. H. A. Barker 

By W. L. Williams 

The petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, signed by 
307 past and present members of Parliament, was the 
culmination of all the efforts made in recent years to secure 
for one of the most devoted servants of humanity a measure 
of the justice which was not only his due, but was long 

Mr. Barker's claim has for many years been a single 
one, viz., that the methods of manipulation which he 
originated, practised, and developed should be recognised, 
that they should be incorporated in the curriculum of each 
medical school, so that the knowledge of them, diffused 
generally among the rank and file of the healing profession, 
might be available for sufferers through all future time. 
He made no personal claims. He sought no personal 
honour. Naturally he refused to endure " opposition, 
contumely, and persecution " in silence, to take " lying 
down " the " slings and arrows " of men who were for years 
too prejudiced even to acquaint themselves with the nature 
of the methods they denounced, or with the work of the 
man they endeavoured to hound down. 

The controversy between this one man and a profession 
vast, wealthy, entrenched behind legal defences, and 
strengthened by the possession of all the recognised 
avenues of knowledge, is one of the most extraordinary in 
the history of science. It was Barker versus the medical 
world. Butthe issue is no longer in doubt. It is true, avowed 
recognition is withheld by the Medical Council. But it can 
no longer, on its platform, or in its Press, deny that Mr. 
Barker has knowledge of methods unknown to surgical 
orthodoxy, deny that he uses those methods with singular 
and almost unvarying success in cases which the most 
eminent practitioners have failed either to relieve or cure. 
The whole world knows that to-day. 



The significance of the petition does not lie in the 
request that the Primate would grant a Lambeth medical 
degree, honoris causa, to Mr. Barker. It lies rather in the 
fact that the petition voices powerfully world opinion — 
that it demands justice for a distinguished public bene- 
factor — that it asks for some recognition of knowledge and 
skill laboriously acquired, but generously, even prodigally, 
placed at the service of sufferers; for some reward of 
labours which for years were attended with incredible per- 
sonal abuse. 

Let me be quite frank. Had the Archbishop granted 
the petition of the 307 Parliamentarians, Mr. Barker would 
not have benefited one iota as a professional man, nor 
would his standing have been advantaged a single degree. 
The Archbishop refused to grant the request because he 
thought there was "danger of misleading the public as to 
the exact character of the qualifications possessed by a 
remarkable man." The Primate's fears were unfounded. 
No one would have resorted to Mr. Barker for treatment 
other than the treatment he has afforded for twenty-eight 
years. The Lambeth Medical Degree would, without 
doubt, have been welcomed by Mr. Barker as recognition 
of his character and work from an eminent quarter, for he 
has stated in the Press that " he was disappointed, for he 
had hoped that the possession of the Lambeth Medical 
Degree might have invested him with the necessary official 
status to demonstrate his methods in the surgical schools 
of this country." By this time Mr. Barker is utterly dis- 
illusioned on this point also. 

No, the real value of the petition to Mr. Barker is in 
the fact that men of the highest standing, representative of 
every section of intellectual life, have declared in a formal 
document that they are convinced by evidence that Mr. 
Barker is, as the Times said in a leading article (November 
25th, 1912), "a benefactor of the public who ought to be 
honoured accordingly " and " a master of manipulative sur- 
gery who relieves suffering for which no relief can be 
found elsewhere" That conviction is the basis of the 
petition to the Archbishop. 

The fact that Mr. Barker patriotically offered 
his services to the Medical Board of the War Office 
— only to be rebuffed — and was actually the means of 



sending back to the fighting line many men who 
but for his aid would have been lost to the country at a 
time when every man counted, only strengthened the 
appeal they made on his behalf. The petition is the ex- 
pression of the judgment, universal outside the medical 
profession, and largely within that charmed circle, that the 
time has fully come for some reward to be bestowed on an 
eminent, a patriotic, and an unselfish public benefactor. 
Comparisons are odious. But how could public honours be 
bestowed more fittingly upon anyone than upon Herbert 
Atkinson Barker, who, to quote from the petition, " is 
probably doing more to relieve suffering humanity than 
any living surgeon." The Primate's reply has a peculiar 
value, despite the rejection of the appeal made to him 
on Mr. Barker's behalf. It underlines every statement 
made by the 307 members of Parliament in the petition. 
It does so after inquiry, investigation, and long reflection. 
It concedes every claim of professional and personal worth. 
" No one," says the Primate, " can read the published 
account — the general veracity of which is unchallenged — 
of what Mr. Barker has been enabled to do, or give 
attention to the individual testimony abundantly furnished 
to me by letter and by word of mouth, without reaching the 
conviction that he possesses some manipulative gift of a 
most unusual kind, and has knowledge and skill necessary 
for applying that gift to the benefit of patients who place 
themselves '.under his treatment." This is recognition 
indeed — so full and unreserved that it compensates Mr. 
Barker, I imagine, for much of that " oppositon, contumely, 
and persecution " to which the petition refers in its closing 

Further, that emphatic verdict is prefaced by an ex- 
pression of a hope on the part of the Primate that, in 
default of the Lambeth degree, " some means may be 
found of marking the country's appreciation of what I 
cannot but call Mr. Barker's eminent services to sufferers." 
The Archbishop dwells very near the fountain of public 
honour. It does not need much imagination to read 
between these lines the Primate's private opinion that Mr. 
Barker should be the recipient of some substantial mark 
of the country's appreciation. I venture to think that no 
one will disagree with me when I say that such public 



honour would arouse as unanimous pleasure and approval 
as the Primate's refusal occasioned widespread regret and 

One regret, and one regret only, lessens the joy Mr. 
Barker's most understanding and, therefore, most sympa- 
thetic supporters have experienced from this action on the 
part of so many members of the House of Commons. They 
rejoice exceedingly in the substantial recognition of the 
genius, tenacity of purpose, profound and unremitting 
devotion to his life-work, which is Mr. Barker's to-day. 
Their regret arises from the fact that recognition 
does not bring nearer the fulfilment of the chief 
desire of his heart. To establish in the eyes of men 
the validity and the value of his methods of mani- 
pulative surgery, naturally enough, was his first and 
greatest desire. Closely allied was his further ambition to 
see his right to enter the medical schools conceded, and 
the opportunity afforded him of imparting his unique 
technique to the oncoming generations of surgical practi- 
tioners. The missionary instinct in Mr. Barker is equally 
strong as the instinct to explore. He desires to impart the 
knowledge of his methods, but feels he can only do so 
under conditions which do not reflect upon his character as 
a professional man. Let it not be forgotten. Mr. Barker's 
methods, as proved by the evidence of surgeons, are his 
own, and the knowledge of them is not shared by any 
orthodox surgeon in the world. Unless they are imparted 
by Mr. Barker the knowledge of them and the skill in the 
use of them will vanish with his passing. It is no longer 
possible for orthodox surgeons to profess that they are 
masters of manipulative methods, or to claim that they can 
perform every operation Mr. Barker performs. This fallacy 
has been exposed again and again. The number of 
medical men who have passed through Mr. Barker's hands 
demonstrates beyond controversy that he has a knowledge 
and a skill which are unique. Let me quote one instance. 

Lately, to my certain knowledge, two medical men — 
one until recently a lecturer on physiology at the largest 
hospital in London — another a present house surgeon at 
one of the most important hospitals in the metropolis — 
had to seek operations at Mr. Barker's hands for relief they 
could not. obtain from their most distinguished colleagues 



Medical men are notoriously loyal to their professional 
brethren, and it is unthinkable that such men would seek 
aid at the hands of an unorthodox practitioner, if they 
could secure it from a qualified surgeon. Those members 
of the Faculty who claim a knowledge and a skill equal 
to Mr. Barker's are on the horns of a dilemma from which 
I see no escape. Either their professional brethren are 
ignorant of the fact that they possess this knowledge and 
skill, or they are lacking in the faith which would impel 
them to resort to those eminent orthodox practitioners of 
manipulative methods. 

No, experience has demonstrated that Mr. Barker's 
methods are original and unique. Only a short time ago 
a medical paper admitted that Mr. Barker " stands alone 
as an exponent of methods of manipulative practice, of the 
benefits of which medical men have frequently availed 
themselves," and added that " common knowledge has 
established that his art consists of procedures unknown 
to surgeons." 

Is the world to lose them? There is a real peril of 
suffering humanity being called on to see this knowledge 
and skill lost, because the Faculty will not admit their 
profound mistake and fling open the doors of the schools 
to this singularly gifted investigator. 

The suggestion has been made that either Oxford or 
Cambridge should confer a degree upon Mr. Barker. The 
Press supports the suggestion. The Daily News in a 
leader said, " We hope such an application will be 
promptly and sympathetically received," and added, "To 
possess his name on its academic roll would confer a dis- 
tinction on any university." 

But even in the event of a favourable response, the 
danger will not have been avoided. How are these 
methods to be preserved for sufferers? That is the 
question of questions for all supporters of Mr. Barker at 
the present moment. His life has not been an easy one. 
He has not spared himself. His friends saw with pro- 
found concern the effect of the strain upon a not too robust 
constitution by his patriotic exertions to aid victims of the 
war. Not once or twice has he broken down. His 
capacity for prolonged exertion does not increase, and he 
finds himself able to treat effectively only a limited number 



of the crowds who clamour for his services. If humanity 
loses the advantage his methods secure for sufferers, the 
loss would be, to quote a medical paper, " not only an 
undying disgrace to the profession," but a national calamity 
of the most regrettable kind. Cannot an appeal be made 
to the leading surgeons of the country to invite him to 
demonstrate his methods in their hospitals? In those 
institutions he should find a sphere where he could explain 
and demonstrate his methods. This is his true ambition. 
This is what would most satisfy his mind and heart. The 
appeal to the Primate, supported by so many eminent men 
— legal luminaries like the Lord Chancellor and Attorney- 
General — by men distinguished in the political world — was 
naturally a source of great gratification. It was an un- 
paralleled act on the part of members of Parliament, and it 
placed Mr. Barker's reputation on an unassailable basis. 
It was an act of national recognition, probably unpre- 
cedented in the annals of the House. But the great object 
now is to secure the knowledge of Mr. Barker's methods 
for all time. Ultimately they will be his most enduring 
monument and constitute his greatest claim to a permanent 
niche in the temple of Science and of Fame. 

A ' i 

Decadence in Singing 

By Albert Garcia 

What is the cause of the present-day decadence in sing- 
ing? Two reasons are generally given — one, the lack of 
good voices, the other — the lack of competent teachers; 
neither of which do I consider correct. The voices of 
to-day are every bit as good as they were 50 or 100 years 
ago, and as to the teachers there are still some excellent 
ones. No, the chief fault lies with the pupils; who will 
not devote the time necessary to enable them to become 
first-class singers; they want to arrive at the goal of a 
finished artist, as quickly as they would get into an aero- 
plane and fly to York or Paris. 

The system of years and years of study, which our 
ancestors devoted to the perfecting of their art, is a thing 
of the past. To-day a few courses of lessons, and, hey 
presto, the thing is done — at least, in the minds of the 
ignorant it is — but how rude their awakening ! After a 
short public career their voices — owing to insufficient study 
— fail them, and they take to teaching, with only too direful 
results. They get hold of some unsuspecting subjects, 
and try to impart what little they have learnt, intermixed 
with choice inventions of their own, possibly culled from 
some of the many books on singing, and turned and twisted 
to suit their own convenience. 

Their pupils, in their turn, teach other innocents, and 
so the thing goes on ad infinitum, gradually getting worse 
all the time. Thus you hear of wonderful people who in 
less than no time will increase your range from a few notes 
to three, or more, octaves; who will make a bass sing 
tenor, and a contralto soprano. Also there are teachers 
who, by means of their marvellous exercises, undertake to 
cure certain throat troubles, which our great throat doctors 
themselves find difficulty in remedying. 

About the only method which does not seem to have 



been taught is that of making the pupil sing standing 
on his head, after the manner of Mrs. Crummies' per- 
formance in Nicholas Nickleby ; but perhaps this may yet 

No wonder one constantly hears the cry, " The teaching 
of to-day is so bad." This, as I have mentioned before, 
is not true in its entirety, and if pupils would only take 
the trouble to find out a reliable teacher, and give sufficient 
time, at least three to four years, for study, they would 
certainly have a better chance of developing into first-class 
artists; provided, of course, they had the necessary quali- 
fications, i.e., a fine voice, vigorous health, artistic tempera- 
ment, intelligence, good sense of rhythm, the patience for 
long and persevering study, and the power of application 
to study. 

The great secret of the " Old Italian School," so often 
spoken of, seems to have depended, as much as anything, 
on the indefatigable patience and perseverance displayed 
by both master and pupil ; and it is the appreciation of the 
necessity of persevering study which is lacking in our 
students of to-day. 

I once asked my great-aunt, Madame Viardot, the 
secret of the old Italian masters, and her reply, very slowly 
uttered, was, "Albert, the great secret of the old Italian 
school of singing was — PATIENCE." 

Sims Reeves, in his book, says : " My apprenticeship 
to singing lasted eighteen years " — and Sir Charles Santley 
would certainly not have become the " king of baritones " 
had he not devoted many years to study. 

One point I should like to emphasise, and that is the 
impossibility of learning singing from books. It is no 
more possible to do this than it is to learn the piano or 
violin without personal supervision, although, I believe, 
there are some extraordinarily clever people who offer to 
teach these arts by correspondence. 

I do not mean by this that some of the excellent book's 
written on the subject are of no use ; on the contrary, they 
are decidedly helpful when a pupil has got over the 
apprenticeship stage, and begun to understand his art ; but 
they are difficult for the " tyro " to grasp, and might cause 
him to try experiments to his undoing. 

I should like, however, to cite one book which I would 



advise all serious students of the art of singing to " read, 
mark, learn, and inwardly digest " — I refer to Mr. Plunket 
Greene's Interpretation in Song. It is not an of en 
sesame to voice production, but for the student who knows 
how to use his voice it is of incalculable value. 

This brings us to another point, and that is the intro- 
duction of the "rubbishy" ballad, rubbishy both from a 
musical and poetical point of view, which has only helped 
to push the art of singing still further in the mire. 

Get the public to want only the best in song, and auto- 
matically the standard of singers will rise, as they will be 
obliged to prepare more seriously to appear before a more 
enlightened audience. 

One might argue that there is plenty of good vocal 
music, but few singers capable of executing it — and why? 
Because we have been dosed with the rubbishy ballad (only 
too greedily pounced upon by the half-baked singers), 
which calls for little study, and when the vocalist attempts 
an aria by Handel or Mozart the result is a dismal failure. 
Start with Handel and Mozart and you are getting a 
foundation for the voice which is lasting and not ephemeral. 

Would Patti, Melba, Sims Reeves, Santley, Ben Davies 
have risen to such heights if they had only SLudied ballads 
of the " rubbishy " order ? 

Apart from the older classical writers we have plenty 
of fine songs by modern British composers, to name only 
a few, in alphabetical order — Ernest Austin, Granville 
Bantock, Hubert Bath, Frank Bridge, Coleridge-Taylor, 
Eric Coates, Frederic Cowen, Harold Darke, Walford 
Davies, Edward Elgar, Herbert Hughes, Hamilton Harty, 
John Ireland, C. E. Lidgey, Easthope Martin, Hubert 
Parry, Graham Peel, Roger Quilter, Landon Ronald, 
Cyril Scott, Reginald Somervell, Charles Stanford, 
Vaughan Williams — why, then, descend to the trash too 
often heard in our concert-halls to-day? 

It seems, therefore, that a combination of two things is 
helping to keep the standard of singing down — i.e., the 
want of sufficient study on the part of the student, and the 
rubbishy ballad helping the singer in his laziness. The 
remedy is self-evident. It is for the singer to carry it out. 

We have in Sir Henrv Wood and Mr. Landon Ronald 
two great musicians who have devoted their lives to raising 



the standard of orchestral music in this country, and 
undoubtedly they have done so. Why cannot the same 
thing be done in the world of song ? 

There is already in existence the " Teachers' Regis- 
tration Act," which should do something to help matters, as 
I believe no teacher will in future be registered without 
having previously studied for a period of three years in 
some recognised school of music. It is evident that, unless 
a student has had the patience thoroughly to master his 
art, he cannot be in a position to teach others. 

It is not absolutely necessary for a teacher to have 
been a public singer, as very often the best performers 
make but poor teachers ; but he should, at any rate, have 
studied with that idea in view, so as to be able to illustrate 
to his pupils the right and the wrong method of production. 

Singing being, to a certain extent, learnt by imitation, 
it follows that the teacher who is able to sing a song, or 
passage of a song, to his pupil, is better equipped than the 
one who cannot do so. 

Many seem to think that it is only necessary to play the 
piano well to warrant their teaching singing, and I fear 
this sort of thing is practised only too freely all over the 
country. I recall when I was studying with Madame 
Viardot in Paris, one day an American lady was an- 
nounced, and after a little preliminary talk my great-aunt 
asked what she might have the pleasure of doing for her; 
the reply was, "I guess I want two lessons." Madame 
Viardot, in her usual calm manner, said, " And pray why 
two lessons ? " " I guess because it's a plural," said the 
American lady. ' You shall have two lessons," replied 
Madame Viardot with a smile. Here, at all events, was 
candour. This lady was going back to America to say she 
had had lessons from Madame Viardot. 

Again, there are others who study the art of singing 
purely from an anatomical and physiological point of view. 
They will talk to you most glibly about the crico-thyroid 
muscle, thyro-hyoid ligament, arytenoid cartilage, etc.; but 
ask them to sing a simple scale, and they are done. 

The question is often asked, At what age should lessons 
in singing commence? Many people think sixteen years 
of age in the case of girls, and eighteen in the case of boys. 
Personally, I consider it not only unnecessary, but a waste 



of valuable time to wait so long. Children can begin to 
study when quite young, provided they are taught very 
simple exercises, solfeggi, and songs in the middle part of 
the voice, and for a few minutes only each day. 

Many of the greatest singers were trained quite early in 
life. Madame Viardot commenced to sing when three 
years of age, and always advised the early training of 

It is not only good from a health point of view, but 
helps to prepare them musically for the time when more 
serious study is undertaken. Especially in the case of 
boys should singing be discontinued during the period 
when the voice undergoes a change. 

Careful training from the commencement is of the 
utmost importance, as it is extremely difficult, in some cases 
impossible, to cure faults acquired during the early stages. 

The above remarks apply more expressly to children 
under the care of schoolmasters and mistresses at the head 
of the various private and secondary schools throughout 
the country. 

Instead, therefore, of deploring the state of singing, 
and yearning for the " Old Italian School," it is the duty 
of everyone to try to improve matters, so that our singers 
of the future will be as great as those in days gone by. 


After Two Years of Peace 

By Austin Harrison 

After two years of peace, and as the net result of the 
peace, Europe lies, like a sick giant, in the palsy of decline. 
There is no reconstruction. The promised land is a 
nebulosity of greed and vanity, and even the hempen rope 
that was to have hanged the Kaiser turns out to be a paper 
illusion, like the great unfunded indemnities of the 
Peoples. And now, at last, things are beginning to hurt, 
for life is, after all, a reality, and so among the nations 
that were once at war the peace is seen to be despair, and 
in a Gregorian wail of agony men turn to their Maker. 

For what? That is at once the difficulty and the 
problem. We do not know. It is the recoil. 
Mr. Lloyd-George hyphenates "on dope. We are 
paying the price of Paris, that is the position. 
The Carthaginian Peace is garnering its fruits, and 
its incidence is social and economic war. Our diagnosis 
is clear. What is the prognosis? That must depend 
more upon the effects of Europe's ulceration than 
upon her science or intelligence or spirituality, for these 
are lost remedies, and the mood of mankind is uppermost. 
The control of civilisation is wrong. Governments no 
longer possess any resiliency. War and the war mind 
still obtain. Politicians caught in their own nets, 
obfuscated by their own vanities, delirious with their own 
delirations cannot — dare not — make peace. A world 
groans, sags and vomits. The puny princelings of war- 
industry look to the left and look to the right, and point 
at the map. See how we have re-coloured 'and dis- 
tempered it ! Look, they say, at the new mandatory 
annexations ! Behold our work, more spectacular than 
Napoleon's, more cataclysmic than Caesar's ! " It is ours, 
all ours," and when they have so spoken they sink back 
in their arm-chairs, muted with their own fear. 

Fear. That is the word we shall have to seize hold of 



to understand the new world of fear created at Paris. 
They built on the sands of fear. New Europe was to be a 
victors' monopoly contained and constricted by the bayonet, 
the enemy low, the victor high, and all around pyramids 
or block-houses of ice were to be erected — to make the 
world safe for the exploiters. And so the ramp on paper 
began. We have now had two years of our fun. In- 
credible fortunes have been made by speculators and others 
with a fancy for the sublimities of the exchanges. In this 
country the public apparently thought we had suddenly 
grown fabulously rich. Our two years of inflation have 
deflated the Peace of Versailles into limbo. As peace 
slowly returns, and the sun comes out, our pyramids of ice 
are seen to melt back into the water of their origin. And 
now? Now, Caesar on his pyramid here, Napoleon on his 
cock-horse there, Lord Jumbo of Hampstead or Pongo 
of Mesopotamia — these gentlemen find their founda- 
tions to be somewhat slippery. The ice is melting. 
Our gold has gone to the New World. Our great super- 
production patriotism is seen to be a myth, because the silly 
" gents " at Paris forgot that to sell, others must be able 
to buy. All around, the world is upside down. Every- 
where the women and children in Europe are dying of 
starvation. Everywhere unemployment has begun to 
threaten production. Europe cannot trade. Cannot buy 
or sell. The blessings of peace are to-day manifested in 
wholesale European hunger; wholesale European poverty; 
wholesale European unproductivity ; wholesale European 

Mr. Lloyd-George, surveying his handiwork, casting a 
contumelious glance at the wreckage of Europe's cosmos, 
can well afford to fall on his knees before the ikon of his 
own fatuity, and to the question, " What did you do in the 
great peace, daddy ?" he can glibly reply : " I made Death." 
It is there. More terrible than war, death is imminent in 
the peace, the slow lingering death of decay, and in this 
respect Europe resembles the shambles of Ireland. The 
creameries of Europe have been " black and tanned." 
With diabolic ingenuity Europe has been socially, 
politically and economically insulated, regardless of her 
economic life, regardless even of the trading requirements 



of the victors. Like three jolly schoolboys playing 
at three jolly pirates, the two gentlemen who 
squee-jeed Mr. Wilson, treated Europe as if the map 
were a water-colour impression, and nothing else mattered 
save the satisfaction of their respective vanities and a dis- 
membership calculated to give cartographers a good year's 
occupation. They said economics " be damned." Give 
us the coal, the iron and the oil, and we will " give you 
a new order.'' 

And so these ingenuous map-makers recast civilisation. 
How we applauded ! The Coalition was " divine." A 
masterpiece, our Prime Minister! Houses? — Here they 
are galore. Money? — Here it is in pails-full. Power? 
— We are the elephantiasis of power. Security? — our 
credit. Credit? — our paper. And into this orgy of 
ineluctable megalomania a little book appeared dealing 
with the relativities of space, which for the nonce seemed 
prophetic, like a white cross flashed across the heavens. 
Were our measurements wrong ? For a moment it shook 
our fundaments. Was our circle incomplete? Had we 
definitively girdled the world? But it was only a jar. 
Crash fell the scimitar of Paris upon the questioners. " We 
are." For two years we have been . . . . ? 

Bankrupt dreamers, that is all. Bankrupt in policy, 
bankrupt in kind, bankrupt in heart. To-day we must 
bear the consequences. We can no longer doubt this 
phenomenon. We dare no longer play with it. The 
Bankers are getting nasty, afraid of the overdrafts. In- 
dustry is uneasy, unable to unload. Credit is unhappy, 
lacking a polarity. The pyramids of power are melting ! 
The sun is coming out again. The ramp, the saturnalia 
of prices and wages, profits and credits, is coming to an end. 
We stand before the chasm of insanity. Shall we step in, 
or step back for the long and safe spring ? 

Let us examine the position of super-production based 
on pyramids of frozen power. It is very simple. What 
we have destroyed is the law of abundance — supply and 
demand; and Europe's troubles are merely the derivative 
consequences of a peace which ignores economics for a 

449 Q 


political map of hate. They, our masters, told us that (i) 
prices would fall automatically with production; that (2) 
credit would rise automatically with interchange of com- 
modities; that (3) gold would restore the old parities of 
exchange, which is the indicator whereby trade is made 
international and harmonious; that (4) peace would usher in 
a climacteric of love and prosperity. Nothing of the 
kind has happened, because the diagnosis was false, like 
the promise of the £23,000,000,000 indemnity of the Prime 
Minister. On the contrary, prices have risen, and will rise 
because at Paris / politicians created a manufactured 
shortage of production, coupled with a constriction of dis- 
tribution, thereby paralysing industry and the basic law of 
economics. We have reached the end of credit, which is to- 
day no longer fundable. The exchanges are growing worse, 
because (1) there is no peace, (2) there is less production, 
(3) there is a controlled distribution. In a word, when 
politicians killed the goose they smashed their own markets, 
trade being international in its function, and credit inter- 
national in its mechanism. And so, what we find to-day is 
not peace, it is war. It is not a higher distribution, a 
greater supply, a keener demand ; what we have is a Europe 
which cannot produce; which cannot buy or sell; which 
cannot obtain credit; which therefore is incomparably 
poorer productively than before the war; which actually 
cannot possibly support its own populations; which is 
doomed to stagnation and decline. 

The Balkanisation of Europe politically might have 
stood the test of a decade or so, but the Balkanisation of 
Europe economically, as ordained at Versailles, spells in- 
evitably death, for what has been done is to lower Europe's 
purchasing-power; to split up and devitalise Europe's 
industrialism; to deflect the flow of distribution; to render 
trade and economic prosperity the national and imperial 
prerogative of a political group. Political economy is thus 
the world's problem. From an academic abstraction, it has 
become a positive compulsion, a thrilling predicament, 
a cosmic romance. More. It has become a world social 
point of revolution. What we have won in the war is really 
the end of the old economic order. We can test this over 
Germany, who was to have been the milch-cow of recupera- 



tion. To-day only an ignoramus can pretend that any sum 
can be obtained from a Germany (i) which cannot feed 
herself, (2) which has lost 40 per cent, of her coal, her 
iron and her raw materials, (3) which has no credit or parity 
of exchange, and cannot have in existing conditions, (4) 
which finally cannot produce because she cannot acquire 
either fuel to feed her industries or the material to work 
upon : which, in fact, must discard some fifteen millions 
of her population if she is to live as an entity at all. Had 
politicians possessed a grain of economic sense, they would 
have clipped German militarism but restored German in- 
dustrialism, by which means alone Germany can pay an 
indemnity. As it is, Germany has since the armistice 
vastly increased her paper unfunded debts. She has to- 
day a million unemployed, and two millions only partially 
producing. Her money is depreciating internally to such 
an extent that only the man who cultivates the soil can 
speak of wealth, thus nearing the revolutionary point of 
France, which culminated in the refusal of the assignats. 
That, of course, is true Bolshevism. It means that 
Germany is heading straight for a collapse, for Moscow : 
and that means that the purchasing-power of Europe is 
declining rapidly into conditions of insolvency. And with 
Germany is associated Austria, which literally is living on 
charity, and the whole network of the new little empires, 
who have all erected barriers of economic tariffs, dis- 
locating the mechanism of distribution, each seeking to 
cripple the industry of the other, the whole drifting hope- 
lessly and fatalistically into chaos and economic break- 

The tragedy of the situation is that pre-war industrial 
Europe could not feed herself, but lived on the law of 
abundance. That law no longer operates. The result is 
that Europe finds herself over-populated, unable to feed 
or find work for her peoples, because to-day she is a poor 
Europe politically cut off from the reservoir of supplies 
and the mechanism of credit, and if this condition per- 
sists millions of Europeans must die or emigrate to the 
New World. There is no escape from this condition of 
the Versailles peace. The economics of Europe are so 
fantastic to-day that, to cite a few examples, it is cheaper 

451 Q2 


to bring .coal from America into Germany than to obtain it 
from Teschen, a few hundred miles away. In North- 
ampton the shops are discharging hands in the boot trade, 
whereas in Germany there is a glut of boots. The 
fabulous price of paper is due to the complete stoppage 
of paper-making in Germany and Austria. Here we have 
a bad slump in motor-cars, in Germany there are no cars. 
Sugar is at its present price because the beet industry of 
Central Europe has been destroyed. Sopwiths go into 
liquidation because Europe cannot buy their bicycles, etc. 
On all sides, the phenomenon is seen of super-production 
here, starvation there. Those who would buy cannot, con- 
sequently those who could sell cannot sell. And over it 
all is the collapse of credit, and the nightmare of un- 
funded national and foreign indebtedness. To say that 
capital is reeling is not enough. Capital is actually de- 
stroying itself through monopolist expropriation, vide the 
price of petrol, paper, food, raw material, etc., and a 
deliberate policy of disjointed distribution. Europe no 
longer has a de facto purchasing-power. Even the 
neutral countries are caught in the cycle of inflation. 
After two years of peace, the currencies of Europe reflect 
the true position of bankruptcy which faces Europe, and 
to such a pass has this depreciation gone that to-day a rise 
in the exchange of a nation implies that it cannot export, 
a fall that it cannot import. The super-production point 
of an unscientific policy has reached its climax in — slump. 
We cannot sell because Europe cannot buy. Thus the 
relationship between population and capital is the burning 
question of Europe, and the problem is no longer one of 
boundaries and indemnities, armies and victories, it is the 
economics of the whole; the question, that is, whether 
under the Peace of Versailles Europe is to go bankrupt 
and to reduce her impoverished populations by 40 per 
cent., or whether industrial Europe is to be re-born, to be 
salved and shriven in her own wretched despite. 

Since the armistice we have lived on empirical plati- 
tudes drawn from the vocabulary of a hundred years ago, 
when Europe was not an industrial organism, and boun- 
daries were the playthings of kings. It did not matter 
then to the workers of Europe economically to which 



sovereign they owed allegiance, and credit was in those 
days an English science. To-day, Europe is a highly- 
developed industrial organism dependent for food upon 
its mechanism of credit and exchange, actually dependent 
for food upon the New World. We learnt that in the war, 
when without America we should have starved. Hardly 
a country in Europe is self-sufficient. The key of indus- 
trialism being coal, it is obvious that industrial Europe, 
politically recast to indulge in a coal-war, must perish, and 
such is the condition confronting her. We who have coal 
are abusing our monopoly by selling at a gigantic profit 
to those in need of it, while ourselves dislocating the natural 
supply of coal of Europe in the centres where it can be 
productively utilised. There can be no doubt but that, if 
the Silesian coal is torn from Germany, Germany must 
decline into a pauper State, which, of course, is the avowed 
intention of Parisian policy. The question is : Does this 
matter? Is Germany or German industrialism essential to 
Europe? The answer is not controversial. It is that, if 
you pauperise the great free-trade industrial centre of the 
old Germanic unity, Europe must lose some 40 per cent, 
of her former productive and distributive power, according 
to the law of abundance. A great weakness must result 
as Europe's industrialism declines. In a word, Europe 
would be far poorer, and as Central Europe could not 
possibly pay the high wages now demanded, millions would 
have to die or seek another world. 

We have had a Brussels Financial Conference char- 
acterised by a Presidential embargo upon all things apper- 
taining to the mosaic laws of the Treaty; characterised 
also by a proposal made by the Belgian Premier of an issue 
of gold bonds, which was rejected as impracticable. The 
sham was apparent from the first. Economics were sub- 
ordinated to politics. Our maestros of dynamics still 
regard economics as a secondary consideration, and 
the result of Brussels is witnessed in a general set-back to 
all the exchanges. Beaten on Geneva, the Premier seeks 
another little itinerary as a complement to Spa. It is all 
wind. Europe's problem remains undiagnosed — un- 
touched. That problem is her depreciating purchasing- 
power or debased currencies. And that problem is not 



politics. It is the only real thing in the capitalist world. 
It is the only real problem that will survive of the Treaty 
of Versailles. All the other difficulties are derivative 
symptoms, from Bolshevism to the " Black and Tans." 
If Capital cannot produce confidence, capitalism is doomed, 
but there can be no confidence unless and until Europe's 
purchasing-power revives. Our monopolist prices here 
will continue. The social unrest will grow. Misery will 
come. Unemployment will begin. Production without 
absorption will be found a chimera. And the process 
of anarchy will continue until one by one the nations smash 
and the system as we know it, and industrialism as we 
seek to preserve it, are involved in the fall. There is not 
much breathing-time now. Europe cannot Budget, and 
America will not underwrite. The fruits of the Peace are 
decay. The world's system is at stake. We shall enter 
the New Order through peace or war. 

Such is the diagnosis frankly enunciated at Brussels, 
repeated at the Conference recently held in London, 
known, of course, to all bankers and all men who have 
in the least studied the facts as they are in Europe 
awaiting now the sponge or pole-axe of actuality. As a 
kind of nightlight the League of Nations has moved to 
Geneva, there to inaugurate no man knows what, seeing 
that the League is merely the refectory of an Alliance 
itself centralised in, and dominated by, the rampant 
militarism of a Parisian junta, which seems to imagine that 
if it abuses Britain enough in its Press the economics will 
right themselves. Europe starves because Poland wants 
to cash her militarism at 1,000 marks to the £. There is 
no statesman in sight. A tired and apathetic public looks 
on at its "white-headed" boys in suspense and wonder- 
ment, almost as afraid of Mr. Lloyd George as it is of the 
alternative. And Ireland burns to Carson's Neronian 
fiddle. Certainly a quaint achievement for a five years' 
world-war — of freedom. Dr. Lenin grins. Twenty per 
cent, of Europe's revenue is spent on militarism, yet there 
is only about enough gold in the world to fund Britain's 
debt to America. Any offers ? The answer is the " three 
o'clock winner." Europe is racing into bankruptcy. Put 
your money on the Coalition. 


Credit or Bankruptcy 

By Austin Harrison 

In normal times, faced with bankruptcy, anarchy, and 
complete social breakdown, Europe would have met in 
council and — taken steps; first, to discover the ways and 
means to avoid disaster; second, to apply the needful 
salving measures, and, in particular, the business world 
would have pressed such a policy in their own commercial 
interests. Our Coalition, however, was elected to uphold 
the Coalition, that is, the Prime Minister, and so to-day 
there is no balance because there is no opposition; there 
is no statesmanship because there is no principle or policy; 
there is no appeal because the country still has the war- 
mind, and the syndicate Press still regards its function to be 
propaganda. None the less, Napoleon did not dub us 
" shopkeepers " for nothing, and so, when the Matin, or 
the " Voice of Paris," indulges in an unusually vitriolic 
denunciation of Mr. George and Albion, we in Britain can 
afford to smile, not only on the lie of the facts, but even on 
the facts of the " lies " which to-day are the manifestations 
of what Lord Morley would call " reason of State." The 
truth is that poor France has been too seared, too 
tried, too wounded to respond to her own truth, 
and France likewise is not styled " Miss " for 
nothing — her feline provocativeness is indeed her 
soul and her fascination. Now, whatever our Prime 
Minister may be, he is not an evil man, as French 
journalists suggest; he is the spirit of the day, and when 
the French denounce him they most pertinently condemn 
themselves. M. Tardieu may be logical in upbraiding 
Mr. Lloyd George for trying to escape from the horrible 
entanglements woven at Paris when the enemy objective 
was not peace, but the hapless, unsophisticated President 
of the United States, who tried to reform the world through 
a looking-glass; and no doubt the Premier deserves the 
knocks he is now getting, but at least his intentions are 



"honourable," and really, if the French don't care what 
happens to France Mr. George has a right to care for our 
fate if, tied to the ligaments of Gallic ferocity, we blindly 
follow the paths of militarism by which France, hopes to 
divide and devitalise Europe. Having myself contested 
Mr. Lloyd George's seat for the sole purpose of reminding 
him that we are " shopkeepers," not " Balbrigands," I must 
defend him against the insults of Parisian newspapers, if 
only to insist that Napoleon knew more about Britain than 
M. Millerand, and that what Napoleon did for Europe was 
to create the modern German Empire through his very 
policy of dissolution which led through Waterloo to Sedan, 
and through Sedan to our August break-through in 191 8, 
which won the Great 'War. 

Now, if France wants money out of Germany — and 
God knows that she does— then France must be circum- 
spect; and again, if she v/ants merely revenge, then 
we in our turn must be circumspect, for both 
policies are not feasible. And that is really the 
position, and the potential of the Entente. As in war 
it was "either or," so in the peace it will be "either or"; 
that is to say, France can obtain some £2,000,000,000 in- 
demnity in time, or she can have revenge, which, one need 
not repeat, means not only disaster to us, but irreparable 
disaster to civilisation. 

The case of France is desperate, financially and mili- 
tarily. Her population is declining, has been declining 
for years, and will decline for the same economic reasons 
that now must control the birth-rate throughout all Europe. 
But that is an historical argument; not so, however, the 
financial problem of France, which is absolutely a farce. 
Had M. Clemenceau been really far-seeing, he would 
have banked on Mr. Wilson, who would then have let 
France off her debt, and induced America to underwrite 
French policy, even the mandatory system of Imperial 
expropriation. But by fooling Mr. Wilson, France lost 
American money, and it is as certain as anything in life 
can be that in November a Republican President will be 
elected to maintain a stand-off American policy : which fact 
— and it will control — involves us so directly that auto- 



matically we assume America's position in Europe, we 
being the sole fighting nation potentially solvent, and the 
only Power whose bankers' credit matters two cents. 

Are the French going to attempt now to fool Mr. 
George as they fooled Mr. Wilson? It looks like it. 
The Polish war is entirely France's doing; the new Balkan 
entente is entirely the result of French militarism; the 
falling purchasing-power of Europe is entirely the fault of 
France, who refuses to allow peace in Europe; the crime 
committed against Russia is due solely to France; the 
D'Annunzio coup is merely the reaction of Italian annoy- 
ance at France's cupidity; the high prices and outrageous 
profiteering in Europe are the immediate fruits of French 
policy, which will not permit Europe to produce or buy 
and sell ; the stagnation of the League of Nations is simply 
caused by France's refusal to give power to any such 
League or idea; the resentment of America is the direct 
reaction to a France who aims at playing Louis XIV. on 
a Budget which she cannot balance even with an inter- 
national loan. These are facts. It is idle to equivocate. 
If permitted to continue, the conditions caused by this 
French policy of pauperisation must end in a crash such 
as the world has never known, financial, social and 

It is inconceivable that French politicians do not know 
this. They do. But the truth is, they do not care. In 
their exhilaration they have become reckless, fatalistic. 
They have stopped thinking: they just expect. They 
hope to bend Mr. George to their will; to force Britain to 
pay and to fight for a policy which means the direct and 
Utter shattering of the economic structure of industrial 
Europe. The question for Britain is thus purely economic. 
Shall we participate; or shall we, counting" the conse- 
quences, ourselves assume the direction, and in the 
process some measure of cultural responsibility? I 
have no sort of doubt as to the answer, because it is a 
shopkeeper's interest, and it will be answered accordingly, 
though whether Mr. Lloyd George will be the man to give 
the lead is another matter. For our strength is credit, the 
basis of which is confidence; now, if Europe is to be re- 

457 0* 


grouped for war, not only physical but economic — and 
Europe is so re-grouped — there can be no peace, no 
restoration, and no alternative to all-round bankruptcy 
which America will naturally keep clear of. 

We are therefore placed before the simple choice of 
credit or bankruptcy; militarism or reconstruction — i.e., 
fighting-power or purchasing-power. The fighting- 
power is clearly illusionary, for there is no enemy to fight. 
On the other hand, the purchasing-power is real politics, 
because without it all the nations must decline into a 
European V olker-W anderung, or a mass emigration to 
those parts of the globe where men prefer warmth and 
sanity to poverty and a death's-head glory. 

And so real is this question, so pressing its incidence, 
so frightful its prospects that, whether France agrees or 
not, Britain will have to decline the Field-Marshal's way 
for the tradesman's course of fair returns, seeing that we 
live on exports, and that if we cannot greatly increase those 
exports we shall not be able to feed our own people who 
won the war for democracy. For us, the problem is food 
versus exports, that is trade, which implies peace, and the 
harmonious interchange of commodities. France may not 
see this quite in the same light, but actually France is 
upheld to-day by British credit, and if our credit weakens 
nothing can prevent France also from reeling into a 
financial impasse which even her prodigious present-day 
export of rouge will not serve to modify. 

Perhaps the most remarkable fact in Europe, as the 
result of the war, is the extraordinary hallucination of 
politicians and public that a poor Europe is calculated to 
enrich the two Powers who have enforced this condition, 
for they, too, will grow poor precisely in proportion with 
Europe's economic weakness, and as both Britain and 
France are now debtor nations, and cannot finance on their 
respective colonies, it stands to reason that only a single 
policy can possibly regenerate a system which stands or falls 
on its own mechanism. That is why a Europe deliberately 
weakened and impoverished to serve the military purposes 
of France, not only must decline, but must crash, and I 



question whether any serious economist in Europe would 
venture to dispute this. For us, therefore, our course is 
preordained. It is trade and credit. But to hold that 
position Europe must have peace — real peace. Europe 
must be helped or she will collapse. In a word, the Treaty 
will have to be revised, lock, stock and barrel, as, in fact, 
it is being revised, being too utterly ridiculous even to 
argue about. 

So far as Germany is concerned, we can do two things. 
Let things rip until she repudiates ; or give her a few years' 
grace to recover ; provide her with long credits ; repeal the 
slave economic clauses of the Treaty and, if we really want 
money out of her, we shall have to see that she gets her 
pre-war amount of coal and raw materials, failing which an 
indemnity will remain mere electioneering tosh too stupid 
even to worry about. That is all. France aims at Ger- 
many's break-up, and Paris refuses to fix a sum for repara- 
tion, for Paris hopes to force imperial Germany asunder 
through economic and starvation pressure. That is, of 
course, why M. Millerand refuses Geneva. France wants 
to occupy the Ruhr Valley, and split Bavaria from the 
North, which she thinks she can do by impoverishing the 
industrial North while buttering the agricultural South, 
until at last the Germans break away in a confederation, 
under the segis of France, on the model of the Corsican. 

This is the real reason why Mr. George is attacked by 
French newspapers, and why for two years Europe has 
been turned into a howling wilderness of racial and 
religious antagonisms. It is a vain ambition. America 
will not finance it, and we cannot, and had we a statesman 
France would be told flatly that an Entente on those 
Hannibalistic lines is not to be had. She will be told soon. 
In the meanwhile all will depend upon whether our Prime 
Minister can brace himself to find a policy, in place of 
mere opportunist jerks and furtive attempts to evade the 
clauses of his own Treaty. 

For us, Ireland remains the acid test of political 
sagacity, and until we give the Irish the full measure of 
Dominion Home Rule we shall find, face Lord Robert 

459 Q * 2 


Cecil, that the world will laugh at the League of Nations, 
for that way is sham, and no League can speak, even 
if it provides 50,000 cigars, seriously to D'Annunzio while 
we let loose a gang of experts to spread terror in Ireland. 
Similarly with Russia and Poland. We have allowed 
one of the weakest Powers in Europe to arrogate to itself 
an imperial sovereignty ludicrously beyond its capacities 
and potentialities, and in the act we have revived all the old 
Russo-Polish antagonisms and the war-point of Eastern 
Europe. Europe has more war grievances to-day than 
at any period since Napoleon. The Paris Treaty has 
simply honeycombed Europe with hatreds and animosities, 
and when that Europe determines to redress the wrongs, 
we most certainly will not fight, and as France's credit 
declines neither will she be able to. To expect America 
to finance Europe as she is, the cockpit of at least a dozen 
wars, is childish. Mr. Lloyd George knows that, hence, of 
course, his belated endeavours to persuade the French to be 
at least financially reasonable, efforts which, emanating 
from the joint author of the Treaty, are hardly likely to be 

And so there we are. What is to be done? Two 
things clearly. One is for Liberalism and Labour to form 
a Coalition for the purpose of acquiring a decent Parlia- 
ment, and a Government of some principle and dignity. 
The other is to tell France that, just as in war we placed 
ourselves under French generalship, so now in peace 
France must submit to our direction, we at least being able 
to see over the thickets of hate and fear which at present 
blind Parisian politicians. Then we could get on. Other- 
wise we shall just continue sauntering downhill, getting 
deeper and deeper into the morass, settling nothing, doing 
nothing, except weakening the purchasing-power of all and 
promoting European revolution. That may be the only 
way out. I can hardly think so, because it is entirely un- 
necessary, so that unless the Gods really mean us 
to go mad, reason should assert itself betimes, and 
economics. There must come a time when men will do 
more than wonder at the high prices, the staggering rates, 
the futility of life as it is to all but the rich, and when they 
learn, as they are already suspecting, that these prices are 



simply the result of a non-productive Europe and the 
elimination of competition, and that the workers of the 
world have no intention of returning to a purely lowest 
wages condition, things will no doubt begin to move 
towards a European peace, by which means alone we shall 
progress into the new social and economic order. For the 
old order is dying fast, withering away through its own 
insufficiency. We surely did not fight this war to make 
Europe safe for blight and misery. In present conditions 
we must all decline. We require a leader, but first of all 
we must get back to facts and fundamentals, and face them 
with that British sanity which has withstood through history 
all tests. The spirit and intelligence of the country will 
emerge from their tents. Then we shall lead once more 
through example, and the war will not have been fought 
in vain. 


The Night 

(To G. E. R.) 

By Henry Williamson 

Against the deep blue of the sky a little money spider was 
taking a line from one veined ash leaf to another. 
•Although so small, he was easily seen in the waning light, 
a dark speck moving with great care. It was evening time, 
and the vesper hymn of warblers and thrushes, pippits and 
blackbirds, was all but sung. 

Throughout the day the great vibrant waves of sunlight 
were plangent on the cornfields and rushing with golden 
swell over the bee-visited hedgerows and green meadows, 
vitalising the slender grasses and red sorrel growing in 
;beauty with branched buttercups and incarnardine poppy 
flowers. Slowly the day-tide of summer's light and glory 
ebbed, the sun swung down from heaven and dipped its 
lower rim into the ocean. The fields and distant oakwood 
were bathed in yellow light, and like a golden sand gleam- 
ing in the western sunlight as the sea recedes, the ebbing 
tide of sunlight left its pools among the woods and the 
hedges. Far away some children were singing as they 
went slowly homewards through the closed buttercups and 
daisies, and their careless cries were in harmony with the 

I sat on a gate and watched the rooks flying over the elm 
trees in the village below, where all was peace and quiet. 
The wind sighed through the hedge : a dead leaf moved 
listlessly, twirling as the wind spun it every which way. 
The tissues of the tree's dead lung had decayed and sunk 
into the earth; the winter had been mild, and the invisible 
hand, composing and decomposing, had not yet touched 
the filagree web of its brittle frame. On its parent ash-tree 
it hung and quivered, never more to respond to the fire of 

Gradually the children reached their homes, and no 
more cries came from the meadow. The little spider 



paused half way between the leaves, and hung quiescent. 
Perhaps some flaw in his architectural scheme was apparent 
to him, or he feared that the wind of the summer night 
would destroy his foundation threads. Born only a few 
weeks before, without tuition or practice, he knew the 
angles of his pillars, the proportions of his stanchions, the 
symmetry and balance of his walls. He had watched no 
honey coloured parent at work, yet within his minute brain 
were the plans of a perfect system to entangle the smallest 
flying insects, feeble of wing, that would fall against his 

The pools of gold about the oaks slowly drained away, 
and the sky above became bluer in its deepest hollow. 
Three swifts passed above, wheeling in final flight 'before 
creeping to their nests of straw-speck and saliva under the 
tiles of the church. The songs of the warblers and thrushes 
as the light drains away, find an echo in the heart of the 
poet, for they sing of the beauty of summer : the swift's 
cries belong to the spectral light of the stars and the mystery 
of infinite space. The swift is the mystic among birds. 

The spider moved on as the first star shone from the 
dusky bowl. Maybe his problem was solved, or that he had 
waited for the beauteous whiteness of Lyra's ray. Slowly 
he travelled to the leaf he had chosen as a base, paused 
awhile, and crept back across his life-line. The rooks were 
settled in the elm-tops by the church, and their " caa-caas " 
came less often; the prospects of the next day's forage 
among the new potatoes had been discussed thoroughly, and 
were known to all — in satisfaction the colony had settled 
down to sleep. Gradually the sun sank into the sea, 
his furnace fire spreading its broad glow through the cloud 
strata over the far horizon. One by one the stars crept 
into their places, waiting for the queen-moon to lift her 
head above the hills of Exmoor. Antares shone on high, 
and Aquila, Sagitta, the Pleiades, and all the heavenly con- 
course : Mars glowed red, with Spica Virginis swung low 
in adoration and sending its wan green fires through the 
eternity of space. Slowly the sun was drenched in the grey 
waters, an owl quavered in loneliness as it fanned over the 
churchyard; a jackdaw answered sharply, querulously, and 
night had come to the earth. 

A dim glow over the Exmoor hills, a halo of faint light, 



and the rim of the moon appeared, like the head of a great 
yellow moth creeping from its chrysalis. The glow became 
a sheen of gold-dust as it moved higher; an instant only, 
and it was free of the dark hills, sweeping upwards into the 
concave of heaven. The great alchemist dwelling with the 
spirit of Night changed her from gold to silver as she 
passed among the stars : the sky 'became lavender coloured, 
the moon dust falling with the dew and forming a gauzy 
veil above. The boom of the waves pounding the distant 
headland was borne on the wind burthened with foam- 
fragrance and the scent of the sweet clover fields beyond 
the village. It stirred the green corn, came fitfully, then 
sighed to silence. 

The last labourer left the inn and the village slept. 
The walls of the cottages gleamed white under the dark 
thatch as the moonlight fell directly upon them. I was 
alone with the sapling wheat and all was still. 

I was alone with the wheat that I loved. Moving over 
the field my feet were drenched in an instant by the dew 
that had fallen. Lying at full length on the earth, I 
pressed my face among the sweet wistfulness of stalks, 
stained and glowing as with some lambent fire, pale, myste- 
rious. On each pale flame-blade depended a small white 
light, a dewdrop in which the spilt plashings of the moon 
were held in thrall. Each flag of wheat held the beauty of 
pure water, and within their sappy blades glowed the spirit 
of the earth — in the spectral silence a voice spoke of its 
ancient lineage : of the slow horses that had strained at 
the wooden plough through the ages, scarring the glebe in 
long furrows that must be sown with corn ; race after race of 
slow horses whilom moving in jangling harness, and to the 
deep shouts of the heavy men. Generation after genera- 
tion of men, bent with age and unceasing labour, plodding 
the earth, sowing the yellow grains that would pro- 
duce a million million berries for mankind. Spring after 
spring, each with its glory of blue-winged swallows speed- 
ing, wheeling, falling through the azure, the cuckoo calling 
on the hills, and the larks spinning their silvern threads far 
up into the sunshine. Through all the sowings and the 
reapings for thousands of years the wheat knew that it was 
grown for man, and the soul of the wheat grew in the 
knowledge of its service. Lying there on the cool couch 



of the silver-flotten corn, with the soft earth under me, 
sweet with its scent of stored sunbeams, the beauty of the 
phantom wheat carried me away in a passion of sweet 
ecstasy. Faint as the sea-murmur within the shell, the 
voice of the corn came to the inward ear. Ever the same 
was the earth that it knew, the east washed with faint rose- 
water in the dayspring, the lark-flight loosened upon the 
bosom of the dawn wind, and the golden beams of the sun 
shooting over the hills of the morning. It seemed but a 
moment since the wild men had goaded the sullen oxen, 
and with rude implements torn a living from the earth ; all 
the great power of the wheat rested above the growing corn 
now, of kin to the grains beaten by oxen, and later, by the 
flails of the wretches who were ever hungry. 

The moon swung its silver lamp among the Pleiades, 
the distant roar of the surf floated from over the clover 
fields, and still I lay there, one with the Maker of Life . . . 
a white mistiness flapped in front, beating broad pinions as 
it hovered, it dropped to the earth, and a shrill scream 
trembled into the night. Fluttering like a moth, the 
ghostly barn owl struggled with the rat, held it in a remorse- 
less clutch by its powerful talons. Into the wheat field the 
rat had come, urged by instinct to seek the means of life, 
and he had found only death. Dreamily the owl fanned the 
night with his broad wings — wings more beautiful than any 
bejewelled fan — and then floated away to his nest in the loft 
of a pottage near the church. Saddened by the conscious- 
ness of life's tragedy — every form of life depending for 
existence on the death of another form — I walked towards 
the village, while a corncrake began his jarring love-song 
in the far corner of the field, and the little flutter-moths 
went down to drink the honey of the night opening flowers, 
living their short life while the moon, soon to die, was in its 
fullest beauty. And only the wind sighed through the 
hedge when I paused to listen : the wind that was banished 
of olden time and condemned to wander round the earth, 
gathering, mayhap, the soul-flames of those broken by the 
irony of all earthly endeavour. 


The Decline of Literary 

By Thomas Moult 

The passion of the average book-reading Englishman to 
learn what other people are writing about the books he 
hopes to read has now reached an ironic and sterile stage. 
A little while ago, the critical pronouncements of our 
literary weeklies were of definite assistance to the reader 
in forming an opinion of the worth of new publications; 
most of us, indeed, are able to look back at (and sigh for) 
the days when a critical notice in which some book or other 
received favourable regard was a guarantee of the selling- 
out of a whole edition during the first few days following 
the appearance of the notice. Even in the year before the 
war there existed a Northern bookseller whose habit it was 
to commence the week's business by ordering up to a 
hundred copies of a new volume which had been the 
especial choice and the subject of favourable comment in 
the local Sunday journal of the previous day. And Mr. 
Arnold Bennett's weekly causerie in The New Age is 
known to have made an even more practical impression. 
But at the present moment, by all accounts, although the 
critical essays in the reviews are read with as great an enthu- 
siasm as they were ever, their tone makes no appreciable 
difference to the practical life of the books themselves. In 
other words, the recommendation is received attentively, 
respectfully, and thereafter entirely ignored ! 

One supposes that the publisher's statement must be 
accepted when he tells us that advertisement and criticism 
alike are merely useful in keeping his name before the 
public, and as a record of his publications; but it is difficult 
to believe that the columns upon columns of critical letter- 
press spread before us every week can be so drastically 
futile as that. " A book begins to sell when it is talked 
about," is the usual official opinion on the subject, but a 



publisher must be a pretty poor hand at his business if, in 
face of that belief, he is still ready to pay ten, fifteen, or 
twenty guineas for a page-sized advertisement in one or 
other of the literary journals. It would be far more profit- 
able if he were to arrange that one of his representatives 
— able to cut a dash at a social function — should be present 
at every dinner-table, every club gathering, where the 
books are talked about ! Or, better still, arrange for the 
preliminary copies of new publications to get into the hands 
of the popular West-End hostesses, instead of into those 
of the impotent critic. There is no better fate, commer- 
cially speaking, for the average literary work nowadays 
than to become a fashion among folk whose chief aim in 
existence is to follow a fashion. Although, artistically 
speaking, there is no fate which is deadlier; but, in these 
days of degenerate aspiration, that, we regret to say, is of 
little consequence. 

Another paradoxical element in the matter is that con- 
temporary writers are just as anxious for favourable notices 
of their books as ever writers were. Indeed, all the mani- 
festations go to suggest that literary criticism ought to be 
especially powerful at the present day. When a writer 
professes sublime indifference to the fact that opinions are 
being expressed, or will sooner or later be expressed, by the 
critics on his work, that writer may safely be classified as 
one who either believes that you thoroughly misunderstand 
him or as one who thoroughly misunderstands himself. 
No writer worth his salt has ever been anything but pro- 
foundly susceptible to the smiles or frowns of his con- 
temporaries. That men, even the artists, are social beings, 
is a truth from which we can never get away, even though it 
may sometimes be a misfortune. We come, therefore, to a 
recognition of three things : that the critical journals are 
being read ; that authors are concerned with whatever the 
critical journalists choose to say about their writings; and 
that the critical journal is still a valuable link between the 
three individuals concerned in the issue of a book. And 
yet, withal, there was never a period of letters in which 
criticism wielded less influence over the reading of intelli- 
gent men. 

To say that the disappearance of the personal pro- 
nouncement in literary criticism — its disappearance in spite 



of the custom of signed essays — has done a good deal to 
bring about this puzzling state of affairs would not be to 
ignore altogether the fact that the most influential phase 
of English criticism is that in which anonymity was the rule 
— though, of course, the great reviews of a hundred years 
ago gave in themselves personality to the anonymous critic 
in their pages. And even then the most influential per- 
sonage of all was well known to be Leigh Hunt. He had 
a definite following which, his lean years notwithstanding, 
never fell below the highest number that any one of the 
critical reviews of our own day is able to count for itself. 
Later came George Henry Lewes, Matthew Arnold, and the 
other Victorians, preserving a sort of semi-anonymity, but 
in each case the personality seems to have been so distinct, 
so vital, that the appendage of a signature to impress the 
readers was hardly needed. The question of whether or 
not a new Arnold would be powerful enough to make his 
own conditions were he to appear at this point of the present 
situation is interesting, but only incidentally. One would 
first have to show that the times, which are certainly devoid 
of personality in other spheres, any longer require a 
Matthew Arnold. And then we would have to prove that 
it is not the conditions that make the Arnolds. It was 
certainly the conditions, the presence of militaristic activity 
in Europe, that gave rise to Napoleon Buonaparte. He 
could not easily be imagined for a state of Utopian peace. 
It is safe, however, to regard as impossible the return 
of practical influence to criticism, so long as there is no 
personality compelling enough in the same (and yet how 
different!) sense that the personality of IVIr. Bottomley is 
compelling enough with a million readers that they will, at 
his mere utterance, purchase cheap fountain pens, believe 
in the innocence of a murderer, in the roguery of a respect- 
able member of Parliament, and boycott the efficient 
German for the inefficient English watering-places with 
undiscriminating cheerfulness. But it must be a per- 
sonality so honestly powerful that the current suspicions 
of cliquishness, self-interest, favouritism, and the other 
deadly rogueries shall be relegated to Coalition politics, 
their proper sphere. Its honour must be so infectious that 
the advertisement pages no longer have the least influence 
on the tone of the criticism itself. It will even compete 



with the libraries for the deciding" word in the fate of new 
books. What the current influence of the libraries is may 
be gauged by that of their prototype in the world of the 
drama, the theatre agencies, which can easily ruin a worthy 
play if it does not appeal to their first-night taste, by the 
simple procedure of forgetting to purchase the usual block 
of seats ! We had an example of this the other evening in 
The Crossing, which was well received by the critics, 
which was in its way a beautiful piece of work — but not 
commercial enough. It was played for the remainder of 
the one week of its run to empty benches . . . 

That such a return of influence, exercised by some one 
personality, is desirable may be doubted by many folk; 
but, after all, personality is literature. An enlightened 
and respectful democracy will, by the time of that return 
(we should hope), have replaced the present bureaucratic 
state in which everyone believes, not that Jack is as good 
as his master, but that the master, being himself, is no worse 
than Jack. The consequence to literature of this belief is 
that we have come to regard the pronouncement of any 
anonymous reviewer's three lines in a morning picture- 
paper as of equal importance with that of the genuine critic 
who has served some sort of apprenticeship to his trade, 
who is at least aware that every imitator of Mr. Thomas 
Hardy is not necessarily a " second Hardy," even though 
his critical training be not so advanced as to appreciate 
that the sacred books of the Aryan race were not merely 
the Greek and Latin, but the Indian, Zoroastrian, and Scan- 
dinavian ; or, as a writer in a contemporary is kind enough 
to remind us, that the " literary " history of Europe since 
the Renaissance is a mere interval between the highest cul- 
ture of the past and the highest culture oT an epoch that is 
yet to come ! Unfortunately, the publisher himself makes 
no distinction of late between genuine criticism and the 
three-lined notice; if he did we should not have the 
unpleasant spectacle of self-respecting firms sandwiching a 
quotation from the Athenceum or the Times Literary Sup- 
plement between the brazen boostings of the Puddleton 
Express and the Licensed Victuallers' Gazette. 


Charwomen, not "Balbrigands" 

By John Peeler 

Swiftly now, drifting with the anarchy of the time, Ireland 
is moving towards a situation involving not only the honour 
but the justification of British civilisation. The Premier 
may sneer at Sir Horace Plunkett, " unable to defend his 
creameries " — words which will go down in history for their 
hypocrisy and brutal callousness; Parliament may guffaw 
at the plea of Mr. Bottomley to release the Lord Mayor of 
Cork; England may still affect indifference to the fate of the 
Irish — Ireland is and will remain our test, our civilising 
example, and if we fail there, assuredly we shall fail in 
Europe and within our own Empire. 

Modern history nowhere, except perhaps in Armenia, 
can show a more hideous picture of Christian mis- 
rule than that of the secret junta at the back of Dublin 
Castle, where Viscount French resides in mournful state, 
a prisoner. It is a sorry end for the man who led the 
Army at Mons. We are back in the days of mediaeval 
sectarianism, in which even torture is resorted to. Yet 
Viscount French of Ypres does not resign. The Prime 
Minister speaks of " human nature." The world 

Now, if Sir Nevil Macready's Black and Tans shot up 
every town in Ireland, does any man imagine that the 
problem would be settled? If every Sinn Feiner were 
hanged on London's lamp-posts, should we have found a 
solution? If starved down into Carsonian "loyalists," 
would Ireland cease from troubling? Quite the contrary. 
There have been various rebellions since Cromwell sacked 
Drogheda. The Irish problem will not be settled by mili- 
tary anarchy, because it is now not only a genuine national 
democratic issue, it is not only a dual sectarian feud, it is 
a dual Catholic struggle in which political Rome and Ulster 
equate as policemen. 



Any time since 1914 Ireland could have been settled, 
but Carson, on the one hand, and Jesuitism* on the other, 
have prevented a Nationalist solution, and what we find 
to-day is not so much the terrorism of Ulster as the im- 
placable veto of political Rome to Irish National ambitions. 
To a statesman Ireland presents an extraordinarily attrac- 
tive problem, because in reality Sinn Fein is in line with the 
natural evolution of British imperialism, and had we a 
prescient imperialist, like Disraeli or even Mr. Chamber- 
lain, we should find no difficulty in helping the Irish to the 
Dominion status, seeing that in Irish freedom not only 
would the age-long sectarian feud dissolve, but Ireland, 
as a nation, must stand as an economic unit on the bed-rock 
of British interdependence. To talk of military exigencies 
to-day is unmilitary, i.e., unscientific, as every educated 
soldier and sailor knows. The truth is that to settle 
Ireland we must be prepared to deal with both Churches ; 
any donkey can play the policeman, to play the Hun there 
is the measure of our bankruptcy. 

If the Catholics connive at terrorism at the expense 
of their own flock, why should the Englishman who hates 
the very name of Ireland bother? Why should Thomas, 
who supports a dissenting denomination, worry if Catholic 
shoots Catholic; if here Catholicism denounces Sinn Fein 
while there it upholds it; if, in a word, the real bar to a 
Nationalist or autonomous Ireland is not Carson, is not 
English apathy, is politically and physically the Roman 
Catholic hierarchy which foresees in a free Ireland the end 
of Papal authority in Ireland. That is the true problem, 
and it will never be solved by a George, a Cecil, or a police- 
man, unless and until we, in our own world interests, 
smash up, not the creameries and the villages of the island, 
but the casuistries and causalities of Ireland's blood 

Are those interests compelling enough to attract us? 
They are. America or credit, the League of Nations, our 
imperial attachments, our markets — these are arguments 
we cannot blow aside with a sneer or a guffaw, and every 

* Rome, which thinks England is reverting to the Apostolic Church, 
naturally resents the democratic tendency of Ireland to free herself 
on an agnostic bias. And Mr. Lloyd George actually plays up 
to this snag. Alas ! poor Oliver ! 



month we delay our world difficulties will increase, because 
with a diseased body in our midst there can be no truth in 
us here or abroad. 

Ireland is an artist's problem. It is not really Ireland, 
it is the Catholic Church that is the issue, and every 
creamery burnt down by Protestant Black and Tans works 
not for Sir Edward but for those who would keep Ireland 
a priest-ridden country under the educational authority of 

We are shooting up the wrong end, that is the sickening 
tragedy of this farce, and had we a sense of the sublime 
or the ridiculous, or any gleam of far-reaching statesman- 
ship, we should just walk out, Scottish pipes playing, and 
leave the Irish to themselves, on the understanding that 
any attempt at a civil sectarian war, no matter by which 
sect started, would be put down in the interests of civili- 
sation. It would not be Carson who would look the 
saddest at such a stroke of statesmanship, it would be the 
rival Church, and, of course, the small gang of assassins 
whose game is anarchy. Have we no politician with a 
sense of humour, an eye for real sport ? What a master of 
wisdom Mr. Lloyd George would prove himself were he 
to put charwomen in Phoenix Park in the place of helpless 
but infuriated policemen, and bring back Valera on a 
torpedo-boat, and bid Sinn Fein elect its first Diet ! 

Ireland would click into order within a month. 
American capital would pour into the island, and Irish 
industries would revive, like mushrooms, to our material 
advantage. Why don't we do this thing? We could 
always reconquer Ireland again, if thought necessary to win 
an election. Why don't we at least attempt to do some- 
thing positive, if only to prove our sincerity to a mocking 
universe ? 

To settle Ireland strategy is necessary, not force. Char- 
women in Phoenix Park, the Black and Tans to build 
houses, and let the Irish talk it out in their own elected 
Diet, in Gaelic, if they can. Let them have what we gave 
to the Boers with so magnificent a success, and then let us 
meet them at a round-table conference — field-marshals and 
lawyers taboo — on the economics of markets and mutual 
business. Without English purchasing-power, Ireland 
would starve (I suppose even Mr. Lloyd George knows 



that), then, if there is any trouble, send Ireland, like 
Lithuania or Palestine, up to the League of Nations for 
sectarian treatment. We shall kill two birds that way, and 
the League, automatically thus bringing in America, would 
become a world live force, created and led by Britain. 

As for Valera, he would probably be dining with Sir 
Edward Carson within a fortnight of our first testimony in 
world sincerity. 

When Ghosts Fail 

The Crossing. 

Though Maskelyne's prestidigitations would seem a 
perennial joy, the somnambulist ghostliness after the Rev. 
Vale Owen somehow fell flat in theatre-land, which thus 
shows that there is more in an illusion than an illusionist. 
This has been the month's theatrical sensation. Vale 
Owen is a glorious stunt. Mary Rose, which is a fairy tale, 
is a splendid success. The Grand Guignol delights, but 
Algernon Blackwood, who knows, who writes about that 
other bourne with tact, feeling, and psyche-ness, he fails 
dismally and catastrophically in The Crossing, which 
should have been a winner as ghosts go. But there it is. 
The ghosts of Blackwood were "sticky." Somehow, the 
" creepy crawlies " never hopped over the other grass- 
hopper's back; the disciples of Sir Conan stayed away, 
Fairy Land stayed away, the agents who buy " on spec." 
did not buy; as between the fairy stuff of Mary Rose and 
The Crossing, the art of the novelist was uncashable. 
Once more the stage points its lesson. It is that London 
will not tolerate a serious play, even about ghosts. 

One is tempted to inquire analytically into the reason 
of this failure, for were a man to read Mary Rose he would 
find it painfully thin, but were a man to read The Crossing 
he would certainly recognise a grown-up quality which 
would not bore him. But on the stage, what a difference ! 
Blackwood meant business in ghosts, Sir James meant 
business on the stage. The latter is master of stagecraft, 
the former is an intellectual. And here we come to the 



core. Blackwood's illusion was reality, Sir James' illusion 
was — illusion, which is what the public wants. It likes 
being frightened, but not really frightened; shocked, even 
emotionalised ; but ask it to think, and the spell is broken ; 
the law of London's theatres is entertainment. 

The White-headed Boy. 

At the Ambassadors we are in Ireland, and there the 
illusion is complete. There is nothing in the story, but 
there is art, and in the hands of the Irish players a quite 
local family fotln serves to enrapture the public who pay 
for the Black and Tans, night after night. It is a joyous 
performance, just real Irish, unthinkable as a play without 
the accent, without the Irish players, considerably 
westernised as they have become in their travels, without 
that unity of production which gives every play they pro- 
duce the full chance. The author has clearly a sense of the 
theatre, like the French, and though his pattern is of the 
lightest and his material a mere flimsy, he knows human 
nature, and lets the club do the work, as golfers say, with 
a fine natural swing. We laugh. We cannot help it. 
Only a cynic would criticise so pretty a bit of mirth. The 
White-headed Boy is a play. And it is successful. 
Give thanks in our time for that. 

The Great Lover. 

This, we know, was a " knock-out " American success, 
a thing that ran for years. The title gives it away. The 
key-note is emphasis. Construction, presentation and 
technique are of the old heavy theatrical kind. It is a 
costume play; an actor's play; it is meant to put Don Juan 
across the footlights, and crash home. As melodrama, it 
is not bad, but it is very old stuff, quite wooden in texture, 
pompously and conventionally conceived to suit a public 
which goes to the theatre to see itself as it would like to 
be, were real life not so entirely otherwise. This play 
requires an actor, and fortunately in Maurice Moskovitch 
the banalities of the theme receive large and powerful 
treatment. He fills the stage. He has moments of 
genuine drama. He compels admiration. He almost 
makes us believe in the play in which more doors open and 
shut than in any other I can remember. This is the kind 
of stuff which draws the money, though the love is purely 



fictitious and the lover is essentially a convention, and the 
women-folk are mere door-mats for the great figure to strut 
upon. But anything great is good, especially a lover — 
and so no doubt women will go to see how the male does 
it and men will go to see how the women take it. Of 
course, it is fantastically old-fashioned, and the leading 
lady has an absurd part, which even the ridiculously ugly 
latest frocks, worn with the latest wriggles, cannot redeem. 
We simply don't care what happens to the ladies. Our 
focus is the lover. Will he end up a sentimentalist? He 
ends beautifully on — the telephone. No need to weep. 
He is going to have another affair. 

Now, Blackwood, when he wrote about ghosts, should 
have thought about the public, like the author of The Great 
Lover, for the distinction is vital. In La Tosca, the great 
thrill is obtained off the stage, and in The Bells, Irving's 
triumph, the horror arises from the little clink of bells 
behind the scenes. So Hamlet's ghost on the parapet. 
So the immortal knocking at the gate in Macbeth. The 
moment the thrill is visualised, the illusion vanishes, or 
becomes merely painful. True horrors or sensations have 
to be imagined, and so we never see the Great Lover 
kissing his brides or capturing them ; he chucks them under 
the chin just to show that he can be mortal, otherwise his 
indiscretions are conspicuous by their absence. Now 
Blackwood's ghosts walked and talked. They " realised." 
They crossed over. Instead of frightening, they calmed 
us. The theatricality jammed. If ghosts can come in and 
out like that, why read Vale Owen? Why go to the play- 
house? And so the real psychical drama capsized over 
the controversial problem of how to write a play. There 
is money in ghosts, but not in real ghosts. That is to say, 
the ghosts must somehow be in the audience. 

S. O. 


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They Went. By Norman Douglas. (Chapman and Hall, Ltd.) 
js. 6d. net. 

A fawn might have written this graceful, fascinating allegory of 
modernism and the classicism, part novel, part history, a satire, a 
poem, a tour de force of literary imagery. It is the best thing Mr. 
Norman Douglas has done, for in this kind of work his knowledge 
and riotous fancy have free play. It is a philosophy, too, and cuts 
new ground for the old patterns ; for, to be sure, Mr. Douglas is no 
revolutionary. A ferociously precocious schoolboy might have written 
it, or a very wise old man. Full of atmosphere, in places amazingly 
beautiful — how good the opening pages ! — the land of princesses 
conjured up in this book reminds one of Rider Haggard, touched 
with the wand of the French Academy. Had we such an institution 
this work would certainly be couronni. It will be one of the books 
of the year, and should be Rackham-ised in a Christmas luxury 



The Romantic. By May Sinclair. Collins, Ltd. 9s. net. 

If this is a reminiscence, it is none the less romance, something 
lived, felt, and re-created, as it were, out of its reactions. Of the 
women writers to-day, May Sinclair is perhaps the most notably 
virile in style and expression. She is, in fact, a stylist of her own, 
which in the modern novel is rare, and she has the real gift of 
omission. Most women writers would have sentimentalised in a 
work of this kind, but the author is too intuitively the artist for that. 
She traces a man's character almost like an essayist, and succeeds in 
portraying that difficult duality of psychology which in this case takes 
the form of a romantic passion for courage vested in a natural 
coward. It is a fascinating study, clear, incisive, suggestive, an 
extraordinarily complicated achievement in a book so finely chiselled, 
and, though it is not a love book, it is almost diabolically a book on 
love. This time the male is not a "movie" hero, but he is a type, 
and so in The Romantic we have a variation on the eternal theme 
of why men and women love. 


As the Wind Blows. By Eden Phillpotts. Elkin Mathews. 
55. net. 

The Moon. By J. C. Squire. Hodder and Stoughton. 25. net. 

The Wooden Pegasus. By Edith Sitwell. Blackwell. 6s. net. 

Umbra. By Ezra Pound. Elkin Mathews. 8s. net. 

Before us lie four volumes by writers of more or less established 
reputation, but concerning at least one of them we feel as we read 
that his reputation is altogether inadequate, at least in this, the 
branch of art of which his present volume is an expression. Mr. 
Phillpotts is known to most people as a novelist who has suffered 
considerably through his inheritance of an intellectual outlook and 
aesthetic temper similar to Mr. Hardy's. He is known to a few as 
a writer of verse which for them has reached its highest standard 
in such poetical prose fantasies as Evander and The Girl and 
the Faun. But still fewer regard his verse in itself as one of the 
serious outcomes of his temperament : and indeed a tendency to 
lapse into the doggerel which the intellectual verse-writer is appa- 
rently unable to avoid would seem to justify the attitude. That is, 
if the aforesaid lapse accompanied every effort, which it certainly 
does not. It is true that in his new volume, As the Wind Blows, 
there are such pieces as "Bells of Varenna," a feeble echo of Edgar 
Allan Poe which w r e remember to have been first printed in an early 
volume, Wild Fruit, ten years ago : — 

Bells of Varenna, 

Bells of Varenna, 

Ancient bells, 

Solemn bells, 



Artistically this means absolutely nothing - . Poe's refrain had at 
least the merit of irresistible music. "There runs a pathway 
through the wood Where lace the boughs and all is good " — except 
Mr. Phillpotts's way of saying it : and his rationalist outlook betrays 
him into such fallacies as that a Dartmoor stream (in an otherwise 
sound and musical poem) strives above all circumstance to win its 
"immemorial dream and predetermined plan." It is not the stream 
that so strives, surely. . . . These and such like lapses make a 
demand on our reserves of sympathy before we can appreciate at 
their true worth successful pieces as "In the Valley," "In a Wood," 
and some rousing' dialect ditties. It is a pleasure to be able to pay 
even this small tribute to one whose own honesty and breadth in 
his pursuit of an ideal in art have influenced his younger contem- 
poraries more than, superficially, we can estimate. 

The Moon is a deceptive piece of workmanship in that its author 
has adapted a form which in itself imparts a certain musical effect. 
Mr. Squire has wisely restricted his own share in such music to the 
subdued note which, rightly belonging to the form, is accentuated 
by the double close. The total impression is one of overpowering 
emotion : — 

A night there was, a crowd, a narrow street, 

Torches that reddened faces drunk with dreams : 
An orator exultant in defeat ; 

Banners, fierce songs, rough cheering, women's screams; 
My heart was one with those rebellious people, 
Until along a chapel's pointing steeple 

My eyes unwitting wandered to a thin 
Crescent, and clouds a swift and ragged sheet; 

And in my spirit's life all human din 

Died, and eternal Silence stood within. 

This, however, is the outcome of an idea, and not a partici larly 
fresh one at that. Mr. Squire's reputation as a poet seems to us 
to rest in the last resort on his habit of description ; although 

Alone and sad, alone and kind and sweet, 
But always peaceful and removed and proud 

could hardly be phrased in a more thoroughgoing way, be the 
expression of any kind : nor could his recounting of what men have 
made of the moon when they have brooded on it : — 

Brooded, until they fashioned from thy seeming, 

A lithe and luring queen with fatal breath, 
A witch the man who saw might not escape, 

A grave that gleamed in shadowy groves of death, 

The tall tiaraed Syrian Ashtoreth. 

In face of the existence already of poems on "Rivers" and "The 
Birds " we incline to regard The Moon as one of those poetical 
ventures which, as with Keats, sometimes result in definite achieve- 
ment, and for which there is the adequate sanction of history. 

Neither Miss Sitwell nor Mr. Squire would, we imagine, welcome 
the recognition of certain resemblances in their poetry, but at least 
in the fact that it is the outcome of an intellectual impulse that 
resemblance is noticeable. The difference is that Mr. Squire's is 



inclined to be rather generous and open-minded, whereas Miss 
Sitwell's is hard and bright, showing a glittering surface in frozen 
sunlight, so to speak, and as cold. Only a temperament such as 
hers could employ words and phrases like "parrot," "monkey," 
"simian," "the monkey Fanfreluche," so often in the first three 
poems, and still not think them squeezed too dry (if ever any juice 
was in them) to use again in the volume whenever she requires a 
word which seems easily atmospheric. 

Across the fields as green as spinach 
Cropped as close as Time to Greenwich — 

it is not by such couplets as this that we must judge Miss 
Sitwell's true quality, nor by her clever nursery rhymes (of which 
"The King of China's Daughter" is a decided success). Whenever 
a poet has thrown over the conventions, lock, stock, and barrel, it 
ought to be for the one reason that he or she has no further use 
for them, not because he cannot be at home among them. Miss 
Sitwell's "Serenade" tells us how much at home she finds herself 
there, or how little, and consequently how much (or how little) of 
genuine poetry there is in her volume : — 

The tremulous gold of stars within your hair 
Are yellow bees flown from the hive of night, 

Finding the blossom of your eyes more fair 
Than all the pale flowers folded from the light. 

Then, Sweet, awake, and ope your dreaming eyes 

Ere those bright bees have flown and darkness dies. 

Mr. Ezra Pound takes too much for granted. We have an 
uncomfortable feeling, as we read Umbra, which contains all that 
he now wishes to keep from Personce, Exultations t Ripostes, etc., 
that we are reading translations far oftener than he signifies. Not 
only is the outlook entirely alien to the temperament accustomed to 
express itself in the English tongue, but many of the lines are only 
to be condoned if they are of poems done from some other language 
into ours : — 

Damn it all ! all this our South stinks peace. 
You whoreson dog, Papiols, come! Let's to music 1 

When Mr. Pound includes "Alba," with its "Ah God! Ah God! 
that dawn should come so soon," at the close of each stanza, is he 
suggesting that Swinburne also was taking too much for granted 
when he used the same marvellous refrain without acknowledgment 
to the Provencal balladist? "Alba" is one of the translated pieces 
that we accept without question. It is a beautiful and poignant 
work, and well supported by "Dieu! Qu'il La Fait" from Charles 
d 'Orleans. Here are all the qualities of charm and musical phrasing 
for its own sake that we find in Mr. Pound's original work also : — 

Be in me as the eternal moods 

Of the bleak wind, and not 
As transient things are — 

Gaiety of flowers. 
Have me in the strong loneliness 

Of sunless cliffs 
And of grey waters . . . 



How much more we would treasure this powerful fragment if the 
allusions in the title and elsewhere had not made us feel uncomfort- 
able about it ! 


Concerning Solicitors. By One of Them. Chatto and Windus. 
6s. net. 

The author of this thoughtful little work on solicitors can hardly 
expect to remain a mystery, for the studious critic can assuredly spot 
the style of a well-known writer who is a lawyer. It is not a book of 
anecdotes in the vein of Mr. Bottomley. We are asked to consider 
the legal profession seriously, and the writer does make a good case, 
laying stress on the impersonal nature of a solicitor's duties in com- 
parison with the rewards received, which are not monstrous, like 
fashionable barristers, or, in these necessitous days, enviable. The 
author is a reformer, but is not for fusion. He recognises change, 
but does not like it. He stands for the poor, but clearly is a benevo- 
lent aristocrat with a passion for human liberty. He writes well, and 
there is a delightful satirical touch running, sub rosa, through the 
book, which makes one feel that this solicitor is a very ardent fellow 
who loves the "human comedy." 

Radiant Motherhood. By Dr. Marie Carmichael Stopes. 
Putnams, Ltd. 6s. net. 

" Radiant " is the word for this continuation of Dr. Marie Stope's 
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profit. In these days, when marriage is apt more and more to be 
treated as an economic disability rather than a social contract, Dr. 
Stopes provides a corrective so charming in its presentation that 
no one could take offence at statements which in a novel would be 
inadmissible. The truth is, the author sees marriage as a romance. 
She delights in her literary accouchement of humanity. She treats 
the union as tripartite, with an eye always on the baby. For masses 
of women to whom sex, as the result of Puritanism, is a sealed book, 
who are expecting to be mothers, and no less to youthful husbands, 
this disquisition on the fruition of wedlock should be really useful, 
for marriage is to-day on trial, and a new attitude towards love 
would seem almost indispensable. Indeed, Dr. Stopes is doing for 
women a Trojan work. She is educating them to understand them- 
selves, particularly her advice to parents how to deal with children, 
with their inevitable sex curiosity, has a charm which should attract 
many readers. 

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